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2 Ways Generative AI Could Transform the Ocean Freight Industry 

Supply chain

What’s inside?

    Many people in the ocean freight space, including experts at Windward, are racking their brains on which future use cases are the best for the application of generative AI technology. 

    As you surely know, generative AI refers to deep-learning, artificial intelligence (AI) models that can generate spontaneous and high-quality content, such as text exchanges, images, voice/audio, and more. ChatGPT and Midjourney are two popular examples of generative AI. 

    Joel Sellam, the founder and CEO of Stargo – a company that provides solutions for freight logistics pricing, and shipment automation – shared some ideas on the potential of generative AI for the ocean freight space: 

    “For ocean freight, generative AI could assist with more accurate calculation of vessel arrival times, navigating traffic, visual surveillance, increasing energy efficiency and the widescale development and roll-out of totally autonomous vessels in the fairly near future.” 

    These are interesting possibilities. This blog post contains two additional ideas for using generative AI in the future to transform the ocean freight industry…

    Ocean freight, a cornerstone of global trade, has been relying on various manual methods for managing exceptions and optimizing yield for freight forwarders and shippers. Leveraging the power of advanced algorithms and data analytics, generative AI could reshape these two functions, scaling up automation and customer service in real-time, which would spike operational efficiency and cost savings.

    Exception Management

    Generative AI could alert freight forwarders’ customers to exceptions, but existing technology already does that and we can allow ourselves to think bigger. It is already possible to receive immediate, automatically-generated messages containing your organization’s service level agreements, rates, and customer commitments. 

    What if this could be taken to the next level with an immediate, automatically-generated message that explains how a specific exception affects your service level agreements and rates, tariffs, and commitments to your customers? 

    Powered by generative AI’s ability to ingest and analyze unstructured data and documents, freight forwarders and shippers could receive an informative communication that could also include the email that the freight forwarder should send to their customer about the exception. 

    The process would look like this: 

    Data → Exception → Contract → Recommendations (including an email) 

    With the help of generative AI, freight forwarders could offer customized advisory and resolution suggestions to customers, based on the analysis of specific exceptions. By understanding the nature of the disruption and its potential impact, the system could generate tailored recommendations for customers, outlining alternative solutions or mitigation strategies. 

    This personalized communication would demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction and foster a sense of partnership between the freight forwarder and the customer, even in challenging situations.

    This generative AI capability would pair well with Windward’s existing Bring Your Own Data (BYOD). This program empowers freight forwarders and shippers to augment their existing visibility service with our advanced Maritime AI™. The reason these two capabilities would pair well is because the more customer data Windward receives, the better we can manage exceptions and obtain more accurate predicted ETA results. making data work smarter for you.

    Yield Management 

    Yield management is critical for maximizing profitability in the ocean freight industry. By harnessing future generative AI capabilities, freight forwarders could optimize container allocation and enhance operational efficiency, leading to increased yields. Here’s how that could work…

    A freight forwarder wishes to send a container to a cargo owner. Generative AI could enable dynamic container allocation by analyzing various factors such as cargo volume, weight distribution, and destination requirements. 

    By employing advanced optimization algorithms, the generative AI capability would suggest the most efficient container configurations, minimizing empty space and maximizing the utilization of available capacity. This would reduce operational costs and optimize resource utilization, leading to improved yield management.

    Windward’s Role 

    Windward’s innovation is being recognized in the industry. We recently won the Supply Chain Innovation – Technology category at the Supply Chain Excellence Awards


    It’s a natural progression for us here at Windward, the leading Maritime AI™ company, to help pioneer the application of generative AI to the ocean freight and maritime spheres. It’s something we have been discussing with existing and potential customers, as well as partners, and we are excited to see what develops. 

    Do you have any good ideas about how generative AI could transform the ocean freight industry? Hit us up on social media and let us know! 

    See Windward’s Exceptional Exception Management 

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