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Machine learning is the answer for the maritime sector

Machine learning rightfully sparks the interest of the maritime sector. ML2Grow has been a partner to provide expert advice and new technology to a growing list of maritime players: CMB, MDK, Brabo and Port+.

Belgium is one of the key players worldwide in the maritime sector. Antwerp hosts the second-largest seaport in Europe and the North Sea is a busy and critical lane for marine transport. Continuous innovation is what characterizes both public and private players in this complex maritime ecosystem. The development and adoption of new technologies are accepted as the common weapon of choice to retain our world status.

Recent innovations in machine learning have inspired many new applications. Unmanned vessels and autonomous navigation systems remain images of the (near?) future, yet the synergy between deep learning technology and sensing equipment are paving a clear path towards that goal.

However, not all applications of AI in the sector are futuristic. Indeed, Ferry operators have shown us AI technology that cuts fuel consumption and also the shipping industry is aware that AI-driven optimization of machinery and routing might hold the key on how to significantly reduce operating costs. This would not only result in gaining a competitive advantage in a sector with low-profit margins but it would also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the entire industry.

Other low hanging fruit can be found in utilizing machine learning technology in more classical (yet not less profitable) use cases such as predictive maintenance or decision support systems. In a sector where uncertainty is king, machine learning is the young pretender.

Since ML2Grow was founded, we have been helping our clients with advice and the development of new models in this niche industry. A recent article of the newspaper ‘De Tijd‘ already detailed how ML2Grow is helping both Brabo and Port+ extract much-needed information in a complex interplay of many actors.

More recently, we have using our knowledge of machine learning in the maritime sector to assist the Flemish Agency for Maritime Services and Coast (MDK). In addition, we have also been advising one of the oldest ship-owning companies in the world: Compagnie Maritime Belge with their AI ambitions.

Are you active in the maritime sector and do you wish to know more? Contact us!

Joeri Ruyssinck


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