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Published: 5 October 2017      

MGI launches AI intiatiive

Cargo and port community systems developer MGI has announced it is bringing AI to its community systems with a development called Channel 5.

Channel 5 is being developed in partnership with CEA Tech, the technological research department at CEA, the French government-backed innovation accelerator for industry.  

MGI explained: “The aim of Channel 5 is to give an accurate real-time overview of port system status. It will notify users about how well gate operations and planned import and export goods flows at sea port terminals are running, thereby offering a concrete solution to the needs of all ports. What’s more, with its artificial intelligence technology developed in collaboration with the List, the CEA Tech institute dedicated to smart digital systems, Channel 5 will detect problems and instantly propose alternatives to users in order to reduce port congestion”.

Channel 5 will achieve this by leveraging sensor and other data beyond container-specific fields. “The idea behind Channel 5 is to merge data from MGI’s Cargo Community System (CCS) with data from sources likely to impact transit flows, including weather forecasts, road traffic updates, handling equipment problems, any strikes in the terminal and the volume of goods traffic expected. This information will then be compared with a set of activity-based rules to assess whether operations are normal or disrupted and determine which players could be affected by any problems. Channel 5 will then immediately offer alternatives in response to any difficulties”. 

There is some debate within the industry as to whether and to what extent this type of “AI” is really something new or just using a different data set and algorithms, but MGI sees Channel 5 as a whole new direction. “The AI core integrated into our system will reduce operator workloads and point them to the best solution in situations where they could end up choosing less efficient options if they don’t have all the data or the time to analyse it,” said Christophe Reynaud, Head of Innovation at MGI.

For Philippe Watteau, Director of the CEA Tech List institute, “As a trailblazer in logistics flow management tools, MGI can now count on our expertise in artificial intelligence to develop highperformance solutions that stand out from the competition. By integrating our decision-making systems into their tools, MGI will make life easier for operators. Our technological know-how will therefore support a key player in port infrastructure.” 

Channel 5 is currently in the Proof of Concept phase. “We are analysing the behaviour of the system with Seayard, our terminal operator partner, and the engineers at CEA Tech. Finalisation is scheduled for 2018. Channel 5 will then be available as an additional module to Ci5, with implementation of this CCS in the Marseille-Fos Port planned for the second quarter of 2018. Channel 5 will also be compatible with all ports, even if they do not have a CCS. This new service is part of the Smart Port initiative launched by the Aix-Marseille-Provence agglomeration. Channel 5 will also increase collaborative work and the port spirit of CCS users,” MGI concluded.

Channel 5 has already garnered an award for MGI, picking up the Port of the Future Trophy in the logistics category at the Port of the Future Conference (Assises du Port du futur) held in Paris on 26 and 27 September 2017.

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