MOL Group AI-Based Car Loading Plan

October 1, 2019

MOL in conjunction with Osaka University has developed a mathematical algorithm to optimize the loading of cars onto ferries.

(Photo © Adobe Stock / Paula Fisher)
MOL in conjunction with Osaka University has developed a mathematical algorithm to optimize the loading of cars onto ferries. (Photo © Adobe Stock / Paula Fisher)

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and its group company MOL Information Systems, Ltd., in collaboration with Associate Professor Shunji Umetani of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at Osaka University, have developed a vessel allocation and cargo loading plans for car carriers based on ‘mathematical optimization,’ articficial intelligence (AI) technology to enable the company’s personnel to complete vessel allocation and loading plans more quickly than previously possible.

MOL operates about 100 car carriers with, in general, car capacity per ship of about 5,000 standard passenger vehicles. The company noted that in recent years, transportation and logistics patterns of automakers and other shippers had been diversifying, and that efficient vessel allocation and cargo loading were becoming absolutely essential to ensuring high-efficiency fleet operation.

In the study in cooperation with Associate Professor Umetani, two MOL teams developed an algorithm that efficiently generates a proposed plan using mathematical optimization and the  company will further assess its potential for practical use with the aim of improving its services through digitalization and significantly shortening the required time to respond to customers when transportation volume or the order of port calls changes suddenly.

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