Ocean Network Express embeds AI in shipping ops with Google Cloud

Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Google Cloud are collaborating to embed artificial intelligence (AI) across the global shipping firm’s business. 

Headquartered in Singapore, ONE owns the world’s sixth-largest container shipping fleet and offers more than 130 weekly services to 120 countries. 

To stay at the forefront of addressing industry-wide challenges, the company is establishing an AI Center of Excellence (CoE) that will imbue an agile culture across every aspect of its business; pilot and scale AI initiatives that boost competitive differentiation; and become a destination for top technology talent. 

By leveraging Google Cloud’s data analytics, machine learning (ML) and AI technologies — alongside advisory expertise from Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia — the AI CoE will help transform ONE’s core operations, strengthen customer engagement, and improve its employee experience. 

“We recognise that our shipping services underpin smooth economic activity and believe that we must constantly raise industry standards,” said Kosuke Wada, EVP of ONE.

“By tapping both companies’ core competencies around AI, we can drive transformative change across our entire business, become an innovative leader in the sector, and facilitate economic benefit for people and countries worldwide,” said Wada. 

ONE’s internal Virtual Assistant chatbot is an example of a successful AI pilot project. Integrated with Google Workspace and accessible via Google Chat, the chatbot automates employees’ queries regarding policies and processes to ease the workload of various internal business functions — all while Google Cloud’s secure-by-design infrastructure and end-to-end encryption maintains data governance and security controls. 

By using Google Cloud’s advanced natural language understanding technology and pre-built virtual agents, ONE brought this chatbot to life within weeks and avoided having to dedicate significantly more time and resources to build underlying ML frameworks from scratch. 

By combining Google Cloud’s serverless computing, intelligent data lake, and Vertex AI technologies, as well as deploying AI platform pipelines based on MLOps best practices, ONE has successfully infused predictive capabilities into its logistics planning processes to ensure operating precision.

“With at least 11 billion tons of goods transported by sea each year, ONE’s AI transformation not only future-proofs its operations and positions the company as an employer of choice,,” said Ruma Balasubramanian, Google Cloud’s managing director in Southeast Asia. “It also sets the benchmark for the creation of even more smart, efficient, and scalable digital solutions that are needed to meet the ever-growing demands of businesses and economies around the world.”