Select Page

AI and Shipping

Artificial intelligence is steadily advancing to the forefront of technology. Basic programs are being put into practice in many industries, with plans to expand their reach and function as the years go on. This is especially true in the shipping industry. Here are a few essential things for you to know about how AI will impact shipping:


Automation of Processes

AI’s position as part of a shipping operation is predicted to touch on several processes. These include terminal automation, automated decking, recommendations for standard procedures, prediction models for gate volume, and guidance for vessel storage. The benefits of automating such simple procedures would allow businesses to save time, workforce, and cost in day-to-day business operations. A full transition to AI for these processes is not happening soon, as the current technology is limited. But the potential for AI to take on these tasks within the next few decades is promising.


Course Plotting and Unmanned Craft

 AI has the potential to plot and adjust courses in real-time to find the optimal route for delivery. This removes human error from the equation in the event of unexpected delays or storms. The AI could also aid the crew with data analysis to detect damage to the vessel, or inform them of course adjustments. In addition, the possibility exists that specific shipping craft could be entirely unmanned. The lack of a human crew would allow unhindered travel for challenging deadlines. Many barriers exist to using such technology. The cost of an unmanned vessel would be in the millions, and piracy is a genuine threat in many parts of the world. Crewless vessels currently pose no danger to opportunists prowling the seas.


Small Shipping Businesses Can Compete

Large companies in any industry tend to be slow-moving in terms of adjusting their mindset or updating their equipment. The potential to use AI creates an opening in the shipping industry for small, ambitious companies to utilize AI technology to outwork their larger competitors. 

While the security of AI on vessels and the experimental state of AI are big questions, AI could be the answer for some businesses to make their mark on the industry.