AI Transforming the Shipping Industry

AI is spearheading the evolution of the global shipping industry, using algorithms to mitigate security risks, ensure compliance with regulations and improve cost-effectiveness.


Executives in the shipping and logistics industries have highlighted a number of reasons Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming their profession. IMO 2020 is one of the most impactful environmental regulations to hit the industry over the past decade.

Global maritime freight transportation revenue is estimated to reach US $205 billion by 2023, up from US $166 billion in 2017. In order to achieve this successfully, the industry - logistics, ports, shipping etc. - will need to add AI to its armoury of digital technologies.

AI will help industry leaders develop more environmentally efficient vessels, find new fuel oil sources with lower sulphuric content and minimize their travel distances to lower their carbon footprint to reduce the likelihood of running a fowl with regulators. AI is also helping shipping companies create contingency plans for future surges in oil prices. They can use the most sophisticated GPS-based artificial intelligence solutions to create the most fuel-efficient shipping routes.

International tensions have become more heightened in recent years and shipping companies are exposed to any number of risks as they travel across international waters. They can improve security by using AI to assess geopolitical risks abroad and be prepared for them before outlining a logistics strategy.

Optimization of container terminal operations and planning can hugely benefit from AI. Examples include minimizing and automating exceptional case handling, predictive maintenance, and supply chain optimization: terminals, ships, road transportation and warehousing. For example, vessel speed and weather data allow them to optimize and make more accurate decisions on container routing and rerouting plans.

AI technologies can be used to mimic human perception and cognitive abilities, such as seeing, hearing, reading, and interpreting sensor data. In turn, this can be used for making decisions and taking action. AI will also benefit user interfaces aboard ships - speech recognition will go into control equipment, for example.

Artificial Intelligence is here to stay and will be one of the biggest factors guiding the evolution of the global shipping industry in the 21st century.