Artificial Intelligence in Shipping is Stepping into New Frontier

Artificial intelligence in shipping is trying to streamline autonomous maritime operations

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence

Remember the time when Evergreen ultra-large ship got wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal? It almost jeopardized the movement across the world’s busiest waterways, causing loss to thousands of traders. At that time, many pointed the need for better planning in shipping moments. The incident wouldn’t have happened if the giant container ship the length of four football pitches had realized that it would have trouble passing the canal. Fortunately, this kind of incident could be avoided in future with the help of technology. Artificial intelligence in shipping is trying to streamline autonomous maritime operations that could better vessel movement and predictions.

The shipping industry is a massive source of trade distribution. Over 90% of the world’s product exchanges including machinery, food, vehicles, and other goods are passed on through sea routines. History frames that shipping has existed even before humans started counting years. Yes, the shipping industry is predicted to be over 5,000 years old. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make them sophisticated and tech-driven. Despite its long existence, the shipping industry has evolved at a slow pace. Compared to the automotive sector that just took 200 years to transform from bullock carts to self-driving vehicles, the maritime sphere is put in a hectic situation to fast-track its game. Besides, everything around the shipping sector is rapidly adopting artificial intelligence. For example, eCommerce and retail businesses are already leveraging AI in logistics and supply chain operations. The successful application of technology in logistics has triggered shipping companies to finally embrace artificial intelligence. According to a report, over 83% of shipping companies are planning to invest in AI and its sub-technologies like machine learning, computer vision, data analytics, etc. Artificial intelligence in shipping is anticipated to provide end-to-end operations.


AI in Avoiding Maritime Traffic Accidents

Most of the traffic incidents in the maritime sector occur because of a lack of planning and prediction. Even though the shipping industry is the heart of logistic transportations, the usage of technology in vessels is very little. Over 90% of maritime collisions occur in congested waterways because of the absence of technology. However, this could be nullified with artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence-based mapping and analysis provide the crew and captain with anticipations on what is yet to come. It leverages a daily scenario big data analysis which can be availed by both onshore and offshore teams. The data will help make real-time decisions and can also be utilized to avoid traffic accidents.


AI in Streamlining Logistic Operations

When it comes to transporting goods from one port to the other, the operations go far beyond navigating the right route and combating maritime traffic. Generally, it involves end-to-end logistic moderation, which will be hectic without technology. Fuelled by big data, machine learning enables the shipping sector to take data-driven decisions on logistic movement. Fleet managers are using artificial intelligence to improve shipping as well as strategic supply chain methods. Many tools like integrated videos are used in fleet management to avail quick and seamless analysis of driver footage. Besides, shipping companies are also gearing up to build strategic approaches to apply chain management with the help of artificial intelligence.


AI in Autonomous Shipping

Although the current adoption of artificial intelligence is very slow, it is predicted that the future will unravel autonomous ships that could carry out transportations without human intervention. Often called ‘smart ships,’ the autonomous vehicles give hope that maritime accidents that happen out of human errors can be avoided. In 2018, Rolls-Royce and Finnish ferry operator Finferries introduced a fully autonomous ferry called the Flaco. Laying the foundation stone to the new frontier, Rolls-Royce further engaged in Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) development. Following the effort, many autonomous companies are planning to try their hand at autonomous shipping systems.