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CJ Logistics develops an AI system that predicts vessel arrival time:

2021.02.04

The AI system predicts the arrival time of cargo vessels with double the accuracy rate of the previous generation


컨테이너 부두
▲ A container port

# Company C, which exports tire parts to Europe and the Americas was troubled because the date of the vessel’s arrival at the port of destination abroad was often a day or two days apart from the previously set schedule which was due to a number of reasons. To compensate, the company had no choice but to stock up enough of its inventory in distribution centers abroad. However, when CJ Logistics adopted an AI system that is capable of predicting the arrival time of cargo vessels, Company C was able to check date and time of arrival with greater accuracy. This reduced the company’s inventory by approximately 30%, and its annual expense is expected to drop by KRW 6.5 billion.

A new era has begun, an era in which artificial intelligence (AI) predicts and informs the arrival time of cargo ships. CJ Logistics managed to more than double the accuracy by deploying AI technologies to predict the date of vessel arrival. This is expected to reduce the burden of having to maintain inventories and also cut down on the logistics costs of companies and manufacturers that export products or raw materials abroad.

CJ Logistics announced on February 1, 2021 that it had developed the ‘CJ Logistics Cargo Tracking system’, which predicts the arrival time of freighters using AI, for the first time in the Korean general logistics industry. The global logistics provider also stated that they have officially deployed the system

CJ대한통운 카고트렉킹 시스템 화면 이미지
▲ A screenshot of the CJ Logistics Cargo Tracking system

CJ Logistics provides a comprehensive logistics service, transporting general commercial goods for manufacturers, importers and exporters to the final destination. As for international maritime transport, CJ Logistics signs contracts with shipping companies and transports the goods on container ships.

The arrival schedule can often fluctuate in maritime transport because of factors such as the route, weather, and conditions in the port of arrival. The system developed by CJ Logistics predicts the date and time of vessel arrival in overseas ports using AI. For this, CJ Logistics developed 18 machine learning-based predictive models. These models learn variables that may occur during the travel, such as navigation information, maritime routes, weather, whether there is GPS information en route to destination, and the distance the vessel travels. The system then analyzes the information it has acquired to predict the arrival time

Prior to the system’s implementation, the shipping company operating the vessels informed the arrival date but the information was only 40% accurate. However, the CJ Logistics Cargo Tracking system provides 85% accuracy, which is more than double that of the previous information used. Now, it is possible to know the date of arrival and even whether the ship will enter the port in the morning or in the afternoon

The company has officially launched the system starting this year after a month-long pilot test conducted last November. Customers who have entrusted their cargo to CJ Logistics can also access the system and check the arrival time as well.

There are many advantages in knowing the accurate date of arrival of container ships. A company that exports raw materials can reduce safety stocks, which is an additional quantity of goods held in the inventory to reduce the risk of goods becoming out of stock when cargo arrives late. This may lead to factory shut down. CJ Logistics predicts that the safety inventory would be reduced by 30-40% with the introduction of the Cargo Tracking system.

The decrease in safety stock can also reduce logistics cost related to storage, such as rental and labor costs. This can help production plants to set up a more accurate manufacturing schedule and prevent excessive production. In a situation where the arrival of a container ship carrying urgent cargo is delayed, the information can be checked in advance and allow the company to choose an alternative option of air transport as an emergency measure.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for maritime transport has risen sharply. Thus, customers are reportedly welcoming the development of the CJ Logistics Cargo Tracking system.

CJ Logistics anticipates that it can improve the prediction accuracy even more by 10% to 15% based on the accumulation of big data as the prediction system gets used more widely. An CJ Logistics officer said, “We believe that technological competitiveness is also logistics competitiveness. CJ Logistics is developing and adopting state-of-the-art logistics technologies to secure the logistics capabilities that place us at the forefront of global logistics.”