MOL, MOL Information Systems Ltd and Associate Professor Shunji Umetani announced the successful launch of a vessel allocation plan and cargo loading plan for car carriers based on mathematical optimization, on of the fundamental technologies of AI.
This project will enable MOL personnel complete vessel allocation and loading operations faster than before.
In this study, in partnership with Professor Umetani, the partners developed an algorithm that produces a proposed plan from an enormous number of combinations by using mathematical optimization.
[Mathematical optimization is one of the representative mathematical methods for decision-making and problem-solving that selects an optimal solution from some set of available alternatives. It is used in a broad range of areas such as investment management, logistics and supply chain, energy management, and scheduling.]
Both teams are to assess this project and its practicality, which aims at enhancing services through digitalization, significantly decreasing the required time to respond to customers when transport volume or the order of port calls changes suddenly.
In general, MOL is the operator of approximately 100 carriers with cargo capacity per ship is around 5,000 standard passenger cars.
Today, in light of digitalization, many transport and logistics patterns are looking for efficient ways to conduct vessel allocation and cargo loading, which are both crucial to ensure the fleet to operate at peak effectiveness to meet customer needs.
In addition, since the order of cargo loading/unloading and hull balance during the voyage must be taken into consideration, it can take longer to develop a loading plan, depending on the plan’s level of difficulty and the skills of the planner.
The MOL Group continually takes a proactive stance in promoting the practical use and application of ICT and draws upon each division’s specialized knowledge, with the goal of creating a shipping group that is always the customers’ first choice when it comes to transport and logistics.