6 Ways Freight Forwarders Can Benefit From OCR Technology

by | Industry

In this economy, smart business owners are seeking ways to save time, reduce costs, and improve customer service. The answer often lies in technology. OCR is one technology that’s delivering big results in record time. In this article, we explore 6 ways freight forwarders can use OCR to reap important benefits. 

According to a study by IDC, organizations that successfully implemented OCR technology were able to reduce the time spent on manual data entry by as much as 80%. This can lead to significant cost savings for businesses.

Furthermore, Gartner found that OCR technology can help organizations to reduce errors associated with manual data entry by up to 50%. The potential benefits are massive. Let’s explore some possible applications of OCR for freight forwarders. 

Key Takeaways

  • OCR, or optical character recognition, is a technology that allows computers to recognize and extract text from images.
  • IDC found that OCR can reduce the time spent on manual data entry by as much as 80%. 
  • Gartner found that OCR technology can help organizations to reduce errors associated with manual data entry by up to 50%.
  • Freight forwarders can use OCR to process shipping documents, share data more efficiently, streamline customs compliance and billing, and more.

What is OCR technology?

OCR, or optical character recognition, is a technology that allows computers to recognize and extract text from images. In the world of freight forwarding, OCR can be a powerful tool for automating many of the tasks involved in managing shipments and cargo. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how OCR is being used in the freight forwarding industry, and how it is helping to streamline processes and improve efficiency.

Is OCR a form of artificial intelligence?

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a technology that uses machine learning algorithms to recognize and extract text from images. It can be considered a form of artificial intelligence.

OCR technology uses machine learning algorithms to analyze an image and identify the characters within it. The process typically involves several steps, including pre-processing the image to improve the quality of the text, analyzing the image to identify the characters, and then post-processing the data to improve the accuracy of the results.

The machine learning algorithm used in OCR technology is trained using a large dataset of images and corresponding text, so it can learn to recognize and extract text from new images. OCR technology is commonly used for tasks such as scanning documents, extracting text from images, and making printed text accessible to people with visual impairments.

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OCR Benefit 1: Processing Shipping Documents

One of the main challenges in freight forwarding is the need to process large amounts of paperwork. This includes documents such as shipping manifests, invoices, and customs declarations, which must be accurately entered into computer systems in order to track shipments and ensure that they are handled properly. OCR can be used to automate these processes by scanning and recognizing the text in these documents, and then extracting the relevant information and inserting it into the appropriate fields in a database. This can save a significant amount of time and effort, as manual data entry is prone to errors and can be a very tedious task.

OCR Benefit 2: Facilitating Data Sharing Between Agents and Partners

Another way that OCR is being used in freight forwarding is to facilitate the exchange of information between different parties involved in a shipment. For example, when a shipment is being transferred from one carrier to another, both parties need to have access to the relevant documentation. With OCR, this documentation can be scanned and shared electronically, rather than having to be physically handed over. This makes it easier for everyone involved to track the status of the shipment and ensures that there are no delays due to missing or incorrect documentation.

OCR Benefit 3: Improving Tracking Accuracy

OCR is also being used to improve the accuracy of tracking information in the freight forwarding industry. In the past, tracking information was often entered manually, which could lead to errors or discrepancies. With OCR, tracking information can be extracted from shipping labels or other documents, and then automatically entered into the relevant systems. This helps to ensure that everyone involved in a shipment has access to the most up-to-date and accurate information.

OCR Benefit 4: Reduced Overall Errors

One of the key benefits of OCR in the freight forwarding industry is that it can help to reduce the risk of errors and improve overall efficiency. By automating the process of entering data and tracking shipments, OCR can help to reduce the workload for employees and free them up to focus on more value-added tasks. In addition, by eliminating the need for manual data entry, OCR can help to reduce the risk of errors and improve the accuracy of information.

OCR Benefit 5: Streamlining Customs Compliance

Another important application of OCR in the freight forwarding industry is in the area of customs declarations. When a shipment is being imported or exported, a customs declaration must be completed and submitted to the relevant authorities. OCR can be used to automate this process by gleaning data from various shipping documents to complete various fields in the customs declaration. This can significantly reduce the time and effort required to complete customs declarations, and can help to ensure that they are accurate and complete.

OCR Benefit 6: Invoicing and Billing Productivity Boost

OCR is also being used in the freight forwarding industry to improve the accuracy of invoicing and billing. When a shipment is delivered, the recipient is typically required to pay for the goods, either by invoice or through some other means. OCR can be used to automate the process of creating invoices by scanning the information on the shipping manifest or other documents, and then extracting the relevant data and inserting it into the appropriate fields for invoicing. This can help to ensure that invoices are accurate and complete, and can help to reduce the risk of errors or disputes.

In conclusion, OCR is a powerful tool that is being used in many different ways in the freight forwarding industry. At Magaya, we’re incorporating OCR in various areas of the Digital Freight Platform, notably customs compliance, rate management, warehouse operations, and quote automation, and we’re always looking for ways to broaden its reach. Exciting times ahead!

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