MOL, Bearing strengthen ties to develop AI-based routing engine

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and California-based AI technology startup Bearing, Inc. have inked an agreement to expand their partnership and bring artificial intelligence (AI) to the shipping industry.

Illustration. Image by Kees Torn on Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

In 2019, the duo partnered up with the goal of improving shipping efficiencies within the maritime industry.

Through various trials and intensive discussions concerning ship modeling, a range of products including a newly announced AI-powered Smart Routing Engine, has been developed by combining MOL’s maritime expertise and Bearing’s artificial intelligence technology infrastructure.

As explained, the routing engine automatically analyzes multiple potential routes for a given voyage and recommends efficient routing through the use of optimal main engine output and propeller RPM profiles.

Bearing is a Silicon Valley-based startup that focuses on streamlining shipping operations. At the core of its technology are highly-accurate ship performance models built off of a diverse set of real-world data points. These AI-powered models with some historical voyage data for certain vessels such as vessel speed, trim, main engine operation, weather and sea condition allow Bearing to predict metrics like fuel consumption with advanced accuracy even without vessels’ design parameters.

The global shipping industry has been challenged to further enhance energy efficiency and develop measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships in a manner that will phase them out in this century.

MOL, which currently operates around 800 ships, is committed to achieving sustainable “Net Zero GHG Emissions” through collective efforts by 2030.

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