Understanding AI: Decision-Making in Customs Processes

Paul McGuinness
Written by
Paul McGuinness

In the dynamic world of international trade, customs brokers play an essential role, ensuring goods move smoothly across borders and adhering to complex regulations and laws. This vital work often involves repetitive, time-consuming tasks, making it ripe for innovation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently gained much attention for its potential to streamline repetitive processes, increase efficiency, and free up valuable human resources for more strategic tasks.

We believe AI is not about replacing human workers but enhancing their capabilities. Repetitive tasks such as identifying HS codes, calculating duties, and filling out paperwork are necessary but consume significant time. These are tasks that AI, specifically machine learning, excels at. Machine learning algorithms learn from historical data to make accurate predictions and decisions, reducing the risk of errors that can come from human fatigue or oversight.

At Sifty, we are working towards building an environment in customs brokers where software solutions like Parcel Sifter can improve the efficiency of inspecting international parcels by up to 50%. We achieved it by using machine learning to recognise patterns in historical data and predict outcomes, allowing customs brokers to fast-track the parcel review process.

As a result, customs clerks can process more daily parcels without increasing staff numbers. Secondly, managers can use the time saved to distribute people towards tasks that require human intelligence, such as client relationship management, complex problem solving, or strategic planning. These are tasks where experienced customs clerks can genuinely add value, leveraging their expertise where it matters most.

Furthermore, the accuracy and speed offered by AI-driven solutions can enhance the service quality in our industry, potentially leading to faster customs clearance times, happier clients, and a competitive edge in the market. Our goal is to create a happier workforce and a direct positive impact on industry profit margins.

It's important to remember that AI is a tool; like any tool, it's most effective when used correctly. It's not about replacing humans but about creating a synergistic relationship where AI takes care of repetitive, low-cognitive tasks, and humans focus on tasks requiring empathy, complex reasoning, and strategic thinking.

Introducing AI into our customs operations could lead to a more efficient, profitable, and scalable business. It's an investment in technology that pays off by enhancing the team's capabilities and allowing them to deliver superior service to clients.

As we consider the future of the customs brokerage business, we believe AI is not a threat but an opportunity; but a chance to free your teams from the mundane, increase efficiency, and grow your bottom line. It's time to embrace the power of AI and let human team members do what they do best - making intelligent decisions that drive our industry and businesses forward.


-->Versión en Español: Haz click aquí para abrir la revista Latitudex. El artículo original está en la página 62.

Latitudex magazine of international trade

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