Ocean Network Express (ONE) has unveiled plans to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to enhance container shipping operations, partnering with Google Cloud and Deloitte Consulting amid a company-wide transformation agenda.
In owning the world’s sixth-largest container shipping fleet and offering more than 130 weekly services to 120 countries, the Singapore-based business is seeking competitive differentiation through the creation of an AI Centre of Excellence (CoE).
The primary aim is to establish an “agile culture” across all departments of the organisation, in addition to piloting and scaling AI initiatives in the hope of becoming an attractive destination for technology talent in Southeast Asia and beyond.
“Whether it is delivering materials for industrial production and infrastructure construction, finished products for re-export, or food and goods to meet communities’ essential needs, global maritime transport companies like ONE form the backbone of global commerce,” said Kosuke Wada, executive vice president of ONE.
“We recognise that our shipping services underpin smooth economic activity and believe that we must constantly raise industry standards.”
In response, Wada said ONE has deepened collaboration with Google Cloud and Deloitte following an initial phase of internal digital transformation. Next up, the company is leveraging data analytics, machine learning and AI technologies from Google Cloud, supported by advisory expertise from Deloitte to strengthen core operations, customer engagement and employee experience levels.
“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,” Wada added.
ONE’s digital foundation has already led to a series of AI pilot projects however. After migrating mission-critical SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) and finance systems onto Google Cloud infrastructure, ONE layered on machine learning models to “intelligently organise” the company’s engagement history with customers.
“ONE’s AI transformation not only future-proofs its operations and positions the company as an employer of choice, but 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,” outlined Ruma Balasubramanian, managing director of Southeast Asia at Google Cloud.
“We are thrilled that ONE has continued to choose Google Cloud as its co-innovation partner, as it spearheads a sea change across the maritime transport industry, and demonstrates the accelerated and measurable impact that a cloud-first and unified data strategy can help deliver.”
Furthermore, ONE’s internal virtual assistant chatbot is another example of a recent AI pilot project at the company -- which was integrated with Google Workspace and accessible via Google Chat to automate employee queries regarding policies and processes.
“ONE’s AI CoE will marshal the right resources and talent that’s needed for scalable operations and sustainable growth,” stated Chris Lewin, executive director of Southeast Asia at Deloitte Consulting.
“By automating manual tasks to increase workforce productivity and employee satisfaction, while reducing IT and data management complexity so software engineers and data scientists can focus on innovation, ONE can now intensify the development of next-generation, world-class shipping services that bring lasting value to its business.”