Multimodal Logistics Optimization

Maritime UK 2050 Award

MJC²'s real-time logistics planning software, applied to synchromodal shipping and multimodal operations, has been short-listed for the Maritime 2050 award

The innovative AI-based solution uses synchromodal optimization algorithms to reduce fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions for cargo shipping, also reducing congestion at ports and making hinterland logistics greener and cheaper.

Smart Steaming (or Just-in-Time Shipping), refers to intelligently controlling the ship's speed so that it arrives at just the right time to berth. This can massively reduce fuel usage, but is only possible if shore-based logistics activities are synchronised.

Artificial intelligence algorithms coordinate planning of shipping, port, rail, barge and truck activity. Synchromodality means dynamically switching between transport modes and services based on availability and demand, automatically responding to delays.

Container Port

Reducing Emissions

The MJC² solution relies on multi-modal optimization, which is very challenging and previously un-solved. MJC² has developed new synchromodal scheduling algorithms which are 1000s of times faster than conventional technology.

The results are very impressive: 10-30% reduction in fuel usage for shipping approaching the port, 8-12% reduction in CO2 emissions from hinterland logistics operations, and corresponding cost savings in the 5-10% region for the end-to-end multimodal operation.

Reducing Congestion & Delays

Furthermore, the "smoothing" effect of the automated freight flow scheduling algorithms means that peaks and troughs in the port are reduced, leading to increased efficiency and effective capacity.

The synchromodal algorithms also drive increased use of coastal or short sea shipping movements, taking long-distance freight movements off the road and making better use of regional ports. This is achieved by using logistics planning techniques that intelligently search for feasible, cost-effective and de-risked routes.

Transhipments through major ports are automatically linked to last-mile rail and truck movements from the regional port, and real-time scheduling algorithms track and automatically re-route in response to delays or operational problems.

Reducing Stress

Furthermore, there is a substantial "quality of life" benefit to the technology as it introduces opportunities for more flexible working patterns.

This broadens the demographic appeal of the maritime and logistics sector and addresses the current concerns such as gender imbalance and the shortage of skilled labour.

 

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