Stena Line’s AI pilot
Route-based transport operator Stena Line has introduced an AI pilot, in which vessels will be assisted by artificial intelligence technology to help optimize fuel consumption and thereby reduce emissions. The company is developing the AI model in collaboration with Hitachi, aiming to help predict the most efficient way to operate vessels on specific routes.
To do so, the model conducts several scenario simulations before suggesting the optimum route and performance setup; considering variables such as currents, weather conditions, water depth, and speed. This will offer captains and ship officers support to make the best possible decisions when planning their journeys. It will make the process of optimization much quicker and bring the company closer to its annual goal to reduce fuel emissions by at least 2.5%.
Development of the model relies heavily upon the cooperation and input of ship captains and their crews. For about a month, the model has been tested for various trips, and after each trip, adjustments have been made and the AI technology has continued to learn. Stena Line’s aim is for the whole company to be AI assisted by 2021.
For more information on this, click here.
Airbus hoists its sails
As we’ve already seen, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new regulations have forced shippers to rethink their fuel consumption and turn to alternatives such as battery-power. However, electrification is not the only answer to this issue. European plane manufacturer Airbus is looking towards the use of wind power to reduce its logistics spending, fuel burn and its carbon footprint.
The manufacturer has said that it will be implementing new sail technology onto one of its three roll-on, roll-off ships. Using a 5,382 square foot kite-like sail could save Airbus around 1.2 million Euros annually and reduce carbon emissions by about 8,000 metric tons a year. Just last year it tested a smaller version of the sail, before it made the decision to install the technology onto its ‘Ville de Bordeaux’ cargo ship, which will be ready to set sail in 2021. The vessel will bring plane parts from across Europe to Mobile, Alabama for assembly.
To find out more about the technology and Airbus’ competitors, click here.
Blockchain eases the carrier weight burden
In July 2016, the IMO introduced new requirements to verify the gross mass of packed containers. This verification of gross mass (VGM) regulation was largely provoked by a series of marine accidents thought to have been caused by mislabeling the weights of carrier containers, including the 2013 MOL comfort incident. The Mitsui O.S.K. Lines-owned container ship suffered a crack that eventually led to a fire and the ship’s sinking, in which 4,000 containers were lost. The introduction of VGM posed many challenges for how to accurately transmit data between all parties involved with ocean carriers.
Switzerland-based logistics and transportation company Kuehne + Nagel wants to enhance its VGM portal using blockchain as a solution to mass data handling. The VGM portal is a service for shippers to verify and transfer data between parties. Using native blockchain interfaces for data exchange with third parties eliminates the need for additional off-chain communication channels. Overall it ensures greater security and confidentiality for shippers and makes the service more convenient to use.
Click here for more information.
Have a great weekend!