OOCL pairs with Microsoft in AI vision

Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line yesterday unveiled its partnership with Microsoft Research Asia in a scheme to apply Artificial Intelligence to its shipping network operations.

“With MSRA’s efforts and expertise, we expect to save around USD10 million 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. Moreover, MSRA will assist us 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.” said Steve Siu, chief information officer of OOCL.

The latest OOCL initiative follows a number of forays into cutting edge technology designed to improve fleet efficiency. The company employs over 1,000 developers located in San Jose, Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Shanghai and Manila.

OOCL 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 30m vessel data every month. By leveraging AI technology and machine learning, the company develops predictive analytics on vessel schedules and berth activities.

“Microsoft has been committed in providing cutting-edge AI solutions for companies across different industries to help drive digital transformation. With our Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge vision, we are partnering with selected top customers worldwide to accelerate the adoption of AI innovations into products and solutions that can be applied in real business contexts. The partnership between MSRA and OOCL demonstrates our strong progress in revolutionizing the shipping industry,” said Cally Chan, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong.

 China’s Cosco Shipping US$6.3bn takeover of OOCL is expected to be completed in June this year.

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