OOCL teams up with Microsoft on AI

Hong Kong-based line Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is the latest to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), announcing a partnership with Microsoft research arm Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) to apply AI research to improve network operations and achieve efficiencies within the shipping industry. The collaboration is expected to nurture over 200 AI developers over the next 12 months.

“Microsoft has been committed in providing cutting-edge AI solutions for companies across different industries to help drive digital transformation. The partnership between MSRA and OOCL demonstrates our strong progress in revolutionizing the shipping industry.” said Microsoft Hong Kong gm Cally Chan.

Always an innovation leader, OOCL has sought to leverage technology to make a real business impact and accelerate customer value, in which AI is the key in their digital transformation vision. The company has a talent base of over 1,000 developers located in San Jose, Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Shanghai and Manila.

It has fully embraced a hybrid cloud infrastructure with auto-switching and auto-scaling throughout its businesses and machine learning for several years. For example, OOCL processes and analyzes over 30 million vessel data every month. By leveraging AI technology and machine learning, the company develops predictive analytics on vessel schedules and berth activities.

“With MSRA’s efforts and expertise, we expect to save around $10m in operation costs annually by applying the AI research and techniques for optimizing shipping network operations from our most recent 15-week engagement. Moving forward, we will embark on an 18-month joint-partnership in research and development to apply deep learning and reinforcement learning in shipping network operations,” said OOCL cio Steve Siu.

MSRA will also assist OOCL in training over 200 AI engineers by conducting machine learning and deep learning sessions at the Hong Kong Science Park over the next 12 months. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with MSRA to leverage AI research and innovations to drive digital transformation in the shipping industry and to exchange knowledge among our top developers so that we can better address customer needs with advanced technologies and predictive analytics,” added Siu.

“Microsoft’s AI offering is a combination of technology, business model and user experience. Shipping network operations involve multiple parties and variables that can change at any moment. Embracing AI is a complex business challenge in digital transformation. MSRA’s AI research experts have joined forces with OOCL to optimize its existing shipping operations using deep and reinforcement learning, an R&D area that needs top AI researchers and domain experts for business impact validation,” said Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Microsoft corporate vp, chairman of Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group, and md of Microsoft Research Asia.

Posted 24 April 2018

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade (UBM (UK) Ltd). Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade.

Vincent Wee

Asia Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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