As the old saying goes: Time is money. And, that’s never been truer than in the competitive world of international shipping, where unforeseen delays or miscalculations can cost millions of dollars.

Thousands of cargo ships ply the oceans and keep world trade moving ahead every day. But poor weather, congested ports, equipment breakdowns, and mishaps of all kinds make for anything but smooth sailing.

An unexpected delay for just one vessel can sometimes cascade into a logistical nightmare for an entire fleet with schedules thrown out of kilter across multiple ports and trading hubs – impacting the flow of globalized supply chains. Adding to the physical challenges are fluctuating trade volumes among economies: A vessel that sails off in one direction with containers crammed full of goods can too often sail back unprofitably empty.

Imagine using the Internet of Things (IoT) to constantly collect data on all voyage-impacting factors, both on and off a ship. Predictive analytics through artificial intelligence (AI) would lead to operational adjustments and decisions to keep vessels moving in the most cost-effective ways.

Such insights could, for instance, help a captain save on fuel by optimally maintaining and varying speed to port. Similarly, a course or balance route time could be amended to avoid anticipated port congestion or deteriorating weather. Read more from news.microsoft.com…

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