TOC Guest Blog: How artificial intelligence can alleviate shipping’s congestion problem

Software products such as Portchain’s Berth Optimization Engine (BOE) can help terminals and carriers mitigate the impact of congestion.

The current congestion crisis in maritime transport has led some European companies to opt for railways to transport their containers from China, an unthinkable solution a few years ago.

The delays and the skyrocketing prices of freight transport have made world trade turbulent for more than 12 months now, and many companies now fear that Black Friday or even the whole Christmas season could be put at risk.

At the time of writing, in the US, more than 60 container vessels are at anchor waiting to enter the Port of Los Angeles. The scale of the situation is so large that it can even be seen from space!

The rotation of containers has been altered: it's not that there aren't enough of them, it's that they are not where they are needed. And this misuse of containers has caused prices to soar. It is a problem of costs, but above all of time. And the worst thing is the uncertainty, the lack of reliability, which means that customers do not know when they will receive their goods.

Using artificial intelligence and cloud-based software solutions, the maritime market can better deal with constant changes and uncertainty. Portchain’s BOE, an optimization engine for berth planning, enables better decisions and real-time operational transparency with key stakeholders. By placing data, predictions, and AI-decision support in the centre, operations become more reliable, efficient, and predictable. Efficiencies in crane, gang and berthing assignments becomes a three-way win-win solution for terminals, shipping lines and end-users.

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