February 26, 2019

FourKites says new product improves freight arrival forecasts

Artificial intelligence platform analyzes multiple data points, including shipper, carrier, lane, rest patterns, load, traffic, and weather.

By DC Velocity Staff

Logistics software provider FourKites Inc. today launched a product it says will predict freight arrival times with greater accuracy and narrower time windows than previously possible, allowing users to confidently communicate with their customers and to improve efficiency by coordinating delivery operations and staffing plans.

FourKites said its DynamicETA algorithm uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn continuously from millions of monthly shipments and to analyze more than 150 data points for each load, including shipper, carrier, lane, rest patterns, load, traffic, and weather.

That approach contrasts with the traditional strategy of basing forecasts on limited data such as standard drive time of the projected route adjusted by the remaining hours of service, the Chicago-based company said. Such rough estimates are insufficient for meeting modern supply chain requirements, from increasingly stringent customer demands to potential penalties for missing on-time-in-full (OTIF) guidelines imposed for late deliveries, FourKites said.

The platform is the latest effort by technology firms to apply AI—instead of humans—to analyze supply chain variables and external data points. For example, JDA Software Group Inc. says its Luminate package can predict consumer demand and deliver faster fulfillment by feeding software applications with traditional supply chain data as well as external information like social media, news, events, and weather (SNEW). And FourKites itself has launched a Predictive Weather Intelligence product, a real-time severe weather risk assessment offering that enables shippers and 3PLs to plan around disruptive weather events before they impact freight in-transit.

"Real-time data and predictive intelligence are critical to the future of supply chains," FourKites Founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal said in a release. "The industry must evolve from occasionally accurate day-of arrival times to consistently accurate hour-of arrival times. Real-time visibility was the first step, and now we're demonstrating the power of AI and large data sets to dramatically improve supply chain efficiency."

The release comes just a few weeks after FourKites announced it had collected $50 million in new funding to fuel the growth of its real-time visibility network, bringing total capital raised to $100.5 million.

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