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Transportation Logistics: Document Automation

November 20 2020

3 min read

How document processing automation can deliver time and cost savings to keep transportation logistics companies ahead of demand and lighten the burden of peak volumes. 

Transportation Logistics Document Processing Potholes

The paper trail of transportation logistics documents encapsulates every aspect of the shipping process, from stored inventory to shipping to delivery.

For most less-than-truckload [LTL] business units of transportation and logistics providers, managing physical documents, such as delivery receipts, bills of lading [BOL], commercial invoices, waybills, and customs clearance documentation are resource- and time-intensive processes, with employees manually keying information. For example, around 12 billion documents are processed annually in ocean forwarding, or the shipping of goods by sea via shipping containers, alone. Centering operations on manual data entry creates unnecessary costs, introduces risks, and prolongs turnaround times.

To further complicate matters, the information in these shipping and delivery documents is just as valuable to logistics providers as the freight itself. Take, for instance, bills of lading, a legally binding contract with details on cargo type, goods included, delivery signature, and more. If one aspect, such as delivery type, is not entered correctly, the logistics provider will lose revenue by not charging for all the services it provided. Inaccurate data discrepancies like this cause companies to lose 12% of their revenue.

For e-commerce business units, the increase in volume and pressure to deliver goods on time adds more fuel to the fire. While the e-commerce industry’s 15% annual growth has been positive for logistics companies overall, the massive increase in shipped goods, and the piles of incoming documents that come with it, make inefficient processes more glaring, especially during the peak holiday season or unexpected surges in volume when companies have to hire additional FTE employees to keep up with demand.

  • 56% of merchants believe the 2020 holiday demand spike will be at or above peak 2019 volumes.
  • During the third week of March 2020, e-commerce sales were 58% higher than the same time in 2019.

But there is a road forward.

Clear Paths Ahead With IDP Software

To succeed, and stay ahead during peak times like the holidays, logistics providers need a robust, reliable solution that can track where mistakes are being made and provide real-time information to decision makers.

With automation, logistics providers can avoid the costly errors associated with manual data entry and legacy solutions, gain quicker access to business-critical information, and increase operational efficiency.

However, not all automation solutions are created alike. Intelligent Document Processing [IDP] solutions that use Artificial Intelligence [AI], Machine Learning [ML] and related technologies can reliably read the different document types logistics companies receive for processing. Implementing an IDP solution decreases processing time since documents will automatically be read and transcribed with minimum human oversight and involvement.

IDP software can streamline the data extraction of a variety of transportation logistics documents, including:

  • Delivery Receipts
  • Bills of Lading [BOL]
  • Commercial Invoices
  • Waybills
  • Customs Clearance Documentation

The Hyperscience IDP solution integrates within your existing infrastructure and doubles throughput on day one so you can achieve ROI immediately. With best-in-class data extraction for real-world document processing, our IDP solution can accurately and automatically handle your data extraction and classification needs. Our solution is smart enough to drop out details of the template (First Name) and only return the relevant data (John). Given the different types of transportation documents, our solution’s ability to handle all document varieties results in less work for your employees, faster turnaround times to customers, and auditable increases in revenue.

Document Processing Signed, Sealed & Delivered

Demand is high and time is of the essence. Here are some questions to ask when evaluating automated document processing solutions to help ease the process of finding a solutions partner that will outperform expectations, easily scale to handle variable/seasonal volumes, and transform your business operations:

  • Will the solution be able to accurately extract the data you need? Balance speed with accuracy. To achieve ROI, you need accurate information that mitigates the costly errors of missed information.
  • Can the solution handle messy handwriting and other document imperfections? Find a solution that can handle “PAID” stamps, fax marks, low-resolution scans, and other distortions that may occur in transit.
  • Does the solution have an intuitive and easy to use interface? An enjoyable user experience can ease the change management process, driving adoption.
  • Is it a Machine Learning solution, so it can keep improving over time? Evaluate solutions that achieve results quickly but continue to learn on your data in the background to deliver lower error rates and higher automation over time.

Ready to discover how Hyperscience can help you unlock the power of document processing automation for your transportation logistics company? Get in touch today.