Applications of Optical Character Recognition in the Logistics industry

Applications of Optical Character Recognition in the Logistics industry

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things and Blockchain are among the most utilised technologies across the logistics domain. Added to this, there was a requirement to instantaneously convert PDF or static documents into EDI messages that can be triggered.

That’s where Optical Character Recognition (OCR) came into the fray. Well, there are various other utilities of OCR in logistics (both air cargo and ocean cargo) and it can transform a complete suite of functions. Here are certain applications of OCR in the logistics domain that can realise a 360 degree transformation with OCR.

Automated data entry

For long, the logistics industry is struck to manual data entry. Because of this manual processing, there are various bottlenecks at all levels. OCR enables automation in data entry by enabling the authorities to identify inaccuracies in the submitted documents. This will not only avoid human errors but also ensure faster processing of documents.

Automated workflow

Even though documents are shared in PDF and other printable formats online through emails, stakeholders often find it hard to extract the right information. OCR will enable capturing and validating information from PDF copies and triggering them as EDI messages to all stakeholders. As a result, the workflow is well automated to ensure improved process flows and reduce human errors.


As the functions in the current scenario demands 360 degree digitisation, the industry is staring at going paperless. This will require leveraging a complete range of servers and cloud infrastructures. OCR will enable an electronic docket facility where a huge chunk of documents can be saved and triggered as EDI messages on need basis. This will in turn create an environment for remote working and reduce the need for physical presence.

Precisely, OCR has a lot to offer in order to simplify complex business functions in logistics. Going forward, processes on micro as well as macro scale can be digitized for improved processing. Already various tech platforms such as cargo community system, single window system and trade facilitation suites have integrated OCR. Added to this, standalone systems such as air cargo management system, Freight Forwarding software also have an exclusive OCR module. Therefore, the importance of OCR is already realised among industry folks and the same will penetrate in the coming days. Also, know the importance of Artificial Intelligence in logistics.