How shipping document automation drives profitability

Over the past several years, the logistics industry has been propelled into the digital age by a powerful combination of consumer expectations, government regulations and technological innovations. Some companies have been eager to adopt these tools, while others remain skeptical about the benefits, effort — and risks — associated with new technologies.

Despite the myriad of high-tech solutions that have been introduced to the logistics industry — from instant load booking to real-time shipment tracking — there have been few holistic updates to the way that shipping documentation is processed.

Both logistics industry leaders and government representatives tend to champion the shift to electronic shipping documents and the use of AI, pointing to opportunities for significant financial gain and more transparent supply chains. This favorable perception has not yet translated into widespread adoption, however.

Research from the International Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Organization revealed that only about 1% of the dozens of documents exchanged during the course of an international shipment are fully digitized. This means that virtually all companies in the global shipping markets still rely heavily on paper-based shipping documents.
Processing paper documents is not only time-consuming, it also creates an environment rife with human error. This process often stalls shipments, causing delivery delays and leading to exorbitant fees.

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