Vast amounts of cargo are transported by sea and in Finland, for example, more than 90 per cent of the exports flow through ports. However, the shipping sector suffers from lack of transparency and poor flow of information between various operators. Ships spend a vast amount of their operational time either in ports, waiting to start off, or outside ports, waiting to get in. Furthermore, many ships sail with less than full cargos.
These are some of the problems the Finnish platform company Awake.AI aims to solve with the help of AI and digitalization.
"Currently, in an ordinary port there may be around 30 different operators, each carrying out different processes and services. Every operator uses its own system, and due to siloed data and changes taking place, there are standby times in every function. The data should be made more transparent to get the standby times reduced," says Karno Tenovuo, CEO of Awake.AI.
"Even a small change in one phase of operations affects all the subsequent phases. When information about these changes is not effectively communicated, it is extremely difficult to estimate the length of the standby time," Tenovuo says.
Awake.AI is building digital services, predictive analytics, machine learning models and a platform that is the foundation for building an ecosystem with partners. The platform will also enable the development of smart cargo flows and future marketplaces.
In practice, AI will improve the flow of information and simulate the whole chain consisting of various operators, anticipating what kind of functions will take place in each phase.
"With improved transparency, we can cut the standby and processing times in ports, which affects the expenses throughout the logistics chain. The emissions will also be reduced," Tenovuo says.
The Awake.AI project received a capital loan as one of the winners of the Business Finland competitive bidding for Growth Engines. The Growth Engine funding is aimed at developing new business amounting to billions of euros in Finland.
"Thanks to Business Finland, we can develop a solution scalable to harbors of different sizes all at once. This approach is in total opposite to the model where a separate development project would be implemented in each port, with the benefits being reaped by the surrounding community only," Tenovuo says.
There is a global need for an ecosystem of smart ports and maritime logistics. Smart ships are also developing in leaps and bounds, and, in order to function, they need a smart operating environment. With the help of the subordinated loan, Awake.AI aims to become the world's most trusted platform and global ecosystem developer for smart ports and autonomous shipping by 2025.
"The global potential of the sector is counted in hundreds of billions of euros. This is a new market sector, and in Finland we have an excellent combination of experts available for it from both the IT world and the maritime sector," Tenovuo says.
Karno Tenovuo presented Awake.AI at the Growth Engine event on 13 September 2019:
Business Finland uses the name Growth Engine to describe cooperation networks − ecosystems − aimed at new business activities amounting to more than one billion euros. Growth Engines are implemented through an enterprise-driven partnership model between companies, research organizations and public actors, which strives to find solutions to global market disruption and create new growth sectors in Finland.
Read more about Growth Engines