Reporting 2020

AI, your new colleague

Artificial Intelligence (AI) used to be pure science fiction, but now it’s daily reality. The technology has also become an important part of the working environment at BLG LOGISTICS.

Jakub Piotrowski is Head of Sustainability, Digitali­zation and IT at the global logistics service provider from Bremen. He is well experienced in the field of AI. “Wherever tedious, repetitive tasks must be completed or highly complex relationships must be understood in the shortest possible time, AI can take a lot of pressure off our employees. As the complexity of our world increases almost daily, so does our need for AI.” To make the complexity more tangible and to be able to test the multitude of possibilities offered by AI, the company has devised a modular system with various tools to develop innovations. These include, for example, the 100-day project and the 6-month sprint, through to research and development projects where entirely new, particularly complex concepts are worked on together with partners from science and industry.

For example, the AI chatbot Fränkie is the result of a 100-day project and is used on the website for BLG Geiselwind. It identifies potential applicants at an early stage of the application process and establish initial contact. The idea was successful and is now to be used for other sites in personnel recruitment. “AI is a valuable assistance system, like a navigation system in a car,” says Piotrowski, “but humans are always at the wheel.” But where do humans and AI meet? What does collaboration between the two look like? The following examples show the possibilities.


AI chatbot

Carina would like to work at BLG. On the website of the Geiselwind location, chatbot Fränkie helps her find the information she wants. With its help, her initial application quickly reaches to the HR Department.


Intelligent forecasts

Carina’s application was successful. She now works in the Incoming Goods Department. She is assigned to each shift by an AI algorithm, that is then confirmed by a Shift Planner. The AI uses forecasting, analytics, and self-learning to deploy Carina exactly where she is needed.


Intelligent document management

What does this mean? The delivery certificates are simply scanned in, then an AI system instantly recognizes the content of the documents and published it to the system. Carina can concentrate on more complex tasks while the intelligent document management system takes care of the repetitive work.


Optical image recognition with AI

During the lunch break, Carina meets with Julius, who is an order picker in optical parts recognition area. He tells her he’s working on an intelligent camera that correctly identifies even the smallest parts of goods from all perspectives. This is how BLG ensures that no mistakes happen.


Research project KITE

Now Oskar joins them. He is a truck deployment planner working on the research project KITE. Oskar tells his colleagues that KITE is looking at how AI can support order allocation for truck transports to avoid empty trips and save CO2 emissions.