Supporting the maritime container crisis

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As Christmas approaches, media around the world have highlighted the current shipping container crisis which has shown little or no signs of stabilizing. With millions of people around the world affected by the holiday season when it comes to gifts and certain food items, the industry has been working hard to adjust shipping methods and get products shipped as needed. possible.

Along with the methods adopted by the industry, such as reusing containers, reusing old models, etc., shipping company ORCA AI believes that implementing artificial intelligence is the right way to go. to deal with the crisis.

We chat with Dor Raviv, co-founder and CTO, Orca AI, to learn more about artificial intelligence solutions that can help with the container crisis as well as the main benefits this technology brings.

Credit: Orca AI.

Frankie Youd (FY): When you look at the current shipping container crisis, do you think AI is a solution to this problem?

Dor Raviv (RD): The container crisis was caused by a combination of understaffing and equipment shortages – AI can help support both areas.

Part of the importance of introducing technology to the industry is to increase automation – not only on ships for improved visuals and traffic updates, but also for port operators to increase efficiency. Automating part of the supply chain reduces dependency on people in times of shortage, making the whole process more efficient by handling multiple data points at one time, giving the unique new information chain.

It also dramatically opens up communication between fleets and ports, with sensors and real-time data routed to a central point accessible to people on land and at sea, ensuring that no vessel is isolated. While not an overnight solution, it will help reduce the pressure on what is labeled “Containergedon” and may be the catalyst to advance future innovation in the shipping world. .

How would you suggest that AI be implemented in industry to help solve the problem?

First, the industry needs to become familiar with the concept of data and its importance for decision making. Then, sensors and cameras installed on board a ship can generate data for the responsible person on board the ship, creating visibility into the decision making, presentation and prioritization of information.

These sensors can be used to provide live updates to ports, allowing them to advise ships to slow their approach and delay their arrival, which will help reduce the idling of ships waiting to enter port. . Over time, this data can also be analyzed to predict future incidents and provide the essential information to prevent them.

Tests are already underway for cranes and automated vessels. Cosco Shipping Ports Limited’s automated driverless container truck pilot can significantly help reduce the time spent unloading ships, which can also be applied to cranes.

At Orca AI, we are working closely with shipping companies and oil majors to create a new security system for autonomous freighters. This will create a new monitoring system for vessels by providing better visibility in difficult conditions, preventing human error and allowing crews to make truly informed decisions. In the future, as more and more stakeholders adopt these data-driven solutions, a data ecosystem will enable informed decisions throughout the supply chain.

Why do you think AI may not have been included earlier to solve this problem?

Shipping is a very traditional industry, lagging behind the automotive and aviation industries in technological innovation. The recent pandemic has helped accelerate the acceptance of technology by the maritime industry, such as AI, but we are still years behind other industries looking to achieve the same, with the technology still out there. considered a mystery to many.

“Shipping is a very traditional industry, lagging behind the automotive and aviation industries in technological innovation. “

However, the potential is vast and exciting. There are dozens of proofs of concepts tested across the world that over time will allow us to raise the level of airplanes where almost all commercial airlines now have a partially automated cockpit, or between takeoff and landing. , pilots are not having to actively fly the aircraft.

At Orca AI, we are working on projects capable of achieving exploits for the shipping industry, such as NYK and providing new data for marine insurers, and we are excited for the future given the impact that we had in a relatively short time. period.

What are the main benefits of using AI to solve this problem?

The captains, co-captains and navigation officers on board have extremely difficult and complex tasks. To avoid dangerous objects and collisions during navigation, mariners currently use binoculars and several sensors such as radar, to visually recognize and prioritize dangerous objects. This job is made even more difficult with inexperienced crew members. Looking at the statistics, nearly 4,000 marine accidents occur each year, and the majority are caused by human error.

With AI, this process of identifying obstacles and prioritizing risks is much easier under most conditions. The denser and more complex the scenario, the better the AI ​​excels compared to humans, mainly due to the fact that it can process multiple data points at blinding speeds.

Thermal cameras and AI-enabled visual support systems provide instant feedback, helping them analyze situations and providing them with all the data they need to give them a full understanding of what to do at a given time. given moment.

Could you explain how the company is currently solving some issues through JIT?

In order to provide the full set of security solutions, our technology uses AI both for the ship and to process multiple data points at the fleet level. For example, AI can generate actionable insights due to its ability to identify trends, anomalies, and benchmarks between vessels and fleets. It automatically groups danger zones together, showing distances, speeds, locations and weather conditions to create a complete representation of the level of risk.

Credit: Orca AI.

This information can then be relayed to the rest of a fleet or even to ports, creating a more streamlined form of communication. Updates and live schedules from port to ships will help reduce the backlog at entry, as ships will be able to reduce their speed to delay arrival, reducing their carbon footprint and fuel costs, while relieving pressure on berth capacity.

Additionally, the data obtained can be used by insurers to create a more accurate pricing structure that accurately reflects the vessel’s risk rates.

What do you think the future holds for this shipping container crisis?

The pandemic has unfortunately put our industry under undue pressure, with the increasing demand for products and the shortage of skilled crew, and this problem is not going to go away overnight.

“The pandemic has unfortunately put our industry under undue pressure, with the growing demand for products and the shortage of skilled crew, and this problem is not going to go away overnight. “

There are certainly a number of short-term solutions, such as opening ports 24/7 and adjusting delivery times so that empty containers are removed before new ones arrive, but in Ultimately, the solution can only come with additional investment in new technology. , especially data-driven solutions.


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