Supply Chain

Growing Potential of Chatbots in Logistics and Transportation

April 01, 2022 • 251 Views • 12 min read

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Tetiana Stoyko

CTO & Co-Founder

Most of us don’t actually understand all the possible potential of chatbots. Usually, when we hear “chatbot” we imagine a robotic voice call from the bank with predetermined functions, or maybe a pop-up quiz on different marketplaces with simple “YES/NO” questions about the product we have bought. Such opinion is partly out-of-date. Of course, such bots could be still met in modern life, but don’t let it fool you. Those primitive programs were just a peek onto how can code-based programs simplify people’s lives.

What Chatbots Really are?

Previously mentioned virtual assistants are Set Guidelines Chatbots. This means that they have limited functionality, and all their possibilities are determined by the code, they are based on. This narrow approach may be considered as a beta-version of a full-fledged instrument for communication solution, so needed today. Actually, amount of these limitations affects almost every working aspect of such bot. They operate only the given information and, for example, cannot perceive synonyms of words, they know. This is why most set guidelines chatbots work with the predetermined answers, no matter if it is a word or a sentence.

Nowadays, thanks to the AI sector development, chatbots could be improved using machine learning. Such version has more features and is much more independent, due to having self-learning skills. Moreover, such bot could be easily implemented into any application, website, or even third-party programs, such as messengers or social media. Also, it is possible to increase the number of features and customize it to suit your needs, simply by connecting the bot to the needed system or database.

Chatbots are a powerful instrument, which could be used in any sphere. Nevertheless, there are some areas, where they are most effective. For example, any logistics company needs such tools to simplify the user experience and to improve its transportation services. Surprisingly, chatbots could be used not only to communicate with a client but to provide other communication solutions inside the company, for example, to create connections between different databases.

Chatbots in Logistics

So, how exactly could logistics companies use chatbots and how can they implement chatbots into transportation services? The best way to use a chatbot’s maximum potential is to give it access to the databases and allow using logistics software and managing systems.

This will provide the variety of useful features such as improved client communication, the ability to parcel tracking, advanced supplier relationship management. The connection with WMS software allows tracking storage packages as well as faster monitoring of the available goods and drivers, etc. Actually, the list of possible improvements is massive, so it is easier to group them by the spheres they could be used in.

Communication Solutions

First of all, it is obvious that chatbots improve communication with the user. They help to better navigate the site or app, giving all the needed information in a pop-up message box or other types of communication possible. Moreover, chatbots could be combined with different add-ons. Also, it allows users to choose the shipping options and parcel tracking.

Such features give the clients almost all the control over the order and delivery processes. For example, choosing shipping options allows considering different types of delivery, possible suppliers, places to deliver to, a variety of packing alternatives, etc. On the other hand, parcel shipment tracking allows monitoring the location of the cargo.

Actually, chatbots in logistics and delivery services have already become a regular thing. They are used not only for ordering but parcel tracking as well. For example, Uber Freight uses similar software to connect forwarders with carriers and truck drivers to optimize the cargo delivery process. But The Uber Freight is not the only such application there are plenty of alternatives.

Not only do giant companies like FedEx or Uber use such chatbot features. As a great example, “Nova Poshta” is a Ukrainian post service, which allows parcel shipment tracking, using its number, given after the registration. Chatbots are becoming a new trend because they are handy and easy to develop and implement.

Moreover, one of the greatest features of chatbots is their availability 24/7. They are bots, which means they don’t need any off-time. Also, they are fully automated, so they could easily replace an entire customer support team, helping to save some money on additional staff. So, instead of a group of workers, the company needs only one IT specialist to check and fix possible bugs or errors. As a result, chatbots won’t make any mistakes if the code, they are based on, is correct. Chatbots can answer all the possible questions, clients could ever ask, if they have access to the needed information.

As a great addition, chatbots could be used not only for communicating with the client but to provide different communication solutions for the inside job in the logistics company. For example, freight forwarders need to have contact with the headquarters or the warehouses. This is why chatbots are a great addition to logistics software both for internal and external use.

Chatbots as a Management Instrument

Chatbots in logistics are indeed a great supplier relationship management tool. But its possible functions are not limited to communication only. For example, using such bot, connected to the WMS software, allows fast managing and monitoring of the storage and needed supplies. The Warehouse Managing System is software, created to manage as well as monitor all the equipment and supply chains of the logistics company.

Basically, WMS software is a database with all the information needed for the correct work of any logistics company. Mostly, it is for internal use only. But chatbot, connected to the WMS software could allow using all of its features by clients or, for example, freight forwarders in order to check the availability of the needed product quicker.

So, chatbots in logistics could be used as a monitoring or management instrument as well. They could help to optimize the work of the logistics company by automating routine tasks. For example, updating the information needed for correct transportation services working. Such info as available drivers or up-to-date parcel shipment tracking. It increases the response time and helps to make a more accurate analysis of how long it takes to complete delivery.

There are also other ways to calculate ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) you may be interested in.

What About Chatbots’ Benefits?


Besides the opportunity to work 24/7, chatbots have another advantage - the possibility of multitasking. It means, that all the foregoing actions could be done simultaneously without interruptions between them. Also, the availability to work on various platforms and the capability to involve different software gives the potential for additional features and increases the field of use of the chatbots in logistics in alternative ways.

Actually, the list of all the previously mentioned possible ways how to use chatbots in logistics is not final. There are also alternative approaches to using chatterbots. It is must be said that chatbot technologies are still growing, which means that it is hard to predict what other functions or usage methods could appear in the nearest future.

Pro-User Orientation

Summing up all the foregoing, we can say that chatbots in logistics are the opportunity to improve this sphere. They have already become a powerful instrument, which helps to optimize and manage all the aspects of transportation services.

For example, they improve the user experience, which results in an increasing number of possible users. According to MIT Technology Review, approximately 80% of respondents claimed the improvements in customer services after using chatbots. The opportunity to choose personalized shipping options and parcel tracking creates comfortable conditions. Also, the embodied connection to the WMS software allows to find out the availability of the product in just one click.

Advanced Administration

But it is important to understand, that chatbots are not only the means of communication in common sense anymore. This means that such personal assistants are no longer program-to-person intercourse. They also could be used to create connections between different databases, allowing them to share information in a secure way.

Moreover, they work as a source of information and a great tool for the analysis and prediction of possible results. For example, to calculate ETA, using the logistics software and information about available drivers and the distance from their location to the final destination, considering the way to the nearest warehouse, where the product is. Chatbots could be used to navigate freight forwarders along the route as well.

In Conclusion

Actually, it is uncertain future possible ways of using chatbots in logistics. As a matter of fact, they are still developing. But the number of present features of chattering bots that could be implemented into logistics software surprises. Needless to be said, the functionality of chattering bots creates great opportunities to optimize and automatize the most of common processes, which impacts the whole sphere at once.

Moreover, such virtual assistants are easy enough to develop and implement into different platforms as well as various software. The customization also allows the creation of a unique personalized bot, which is adjusted to perform specific tasks.

Our team has experience working in logistics and delivery spheres. We helped in developing such products as ParcelFrog and EnviaYa. So, we already know how to make your ideas real. If you have any questions or doubts - we would be glad to answer them and give you a few pieces of advice if needed.

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