Innovation That Matters

Portcast can help companies save money and time on shipping, by predicting where problems may occur and suggesting ways around them. | Photo source Pixabay

Logistics firm uses predictive analysis to speed shipping

Mobility & Transport

A logistics startup is using AI-powered predictive analysis to save shippers and customers money by shortening trip and reducing emissions

Spotted: With high gas prices, supply shortages, plant shutdowns from Covid and freight issues, managing shipping logistics has never been more complex. Yet for many manufacturers and freight forwarders, shipments are still being managed using the phone and spreadsheets. Now, startup Portcast is working to change that, by tracking shipments in real time. 

Portcast gathers shipping data from numerous sources and not only tracks cargo movements, but also tracks elements such as weather, tides, wind speed and pandemic-related issues in order to predict where shipments might encounter difficulties. Portcast claims it can track more than 90 per cent of the world’s ocean trade, 35 per cent of air cargo and can forecast demand for 30,000 global trade routes, helping customers to better predict and understand delays. 

In addition to tracking physical shipments using geospatial data, the company also analyses economic patterns, such as how vaccine rollouts can change airline and ship capacity, using predictive AI. Rather than track each container using IoT devices, Portcast uses hybrid solutions, like tracking booking patterns or placing tracking devices on one container of each shipment.  

Nidhi Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Portcast, explains that with global supply chains under pressure as never before, service reliability is very low and costs are high. They hope to help businesses reduce some of these costs. “We believe that companies with predictive visibility on cargo movements have a significantly higher preparedness to downstream planning and customer service, and we have already seen the impact of this with reductions in overall port fees by 20% and manual work by 80% for our customers.” 

With delays increasing, but the just-in-time delivery model showing no signs of abating, logistics has become vitally important to almost every manufacturer and retailer. Springwise has kept a close eye on this market, covering logistics innovations such as the use of AI to predict weather and other transport delays and the use of satellite data to add transparency to the supply chain. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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