Technological solutions such as heuristic algorithms and robotic process automation are bringing smoother, more efficient logistics across the whole chain
With digitalisation on everyone’s minds, there is no shortage of IT companies stepping up to meet the needs of the shipping industry. One such company is CyberLogitec. Managing director Jason Hyeon explains “We are an IT maritime, port and logistics solutioning company where the people, even up to the CEO himself, are shipping people.”
“We are armed with shipping knowledge and expertise, we’ve seen the shipping cycle grow and change over the years,” Mr Hyeon adds.
Originally founded in 2000 as an offshoot of South Korean container carrier Hanjin Shipping, CyberLogitec established a subsidiary, CyberLogitec Global, in Singapore in mid-2017. A year and a half on, Singapore Solutions caught up with Mr Hyeon and CyberLogitec Global business service team manager Wai Mung Low.
Explaining why the city-state was chosen as CyberLogitec Global’s headquarters of sales and marketing, Mr Hyeon says “As Asia remains one of the fastest-growing regions, Singapore is the ultimate choice for our investment.
“It is the gateway to Asia as well as one of the most important maritime hubs in the region. Singapore also houses the world’s second largest container terminal, PSA.”
“It has a high concentration of major liners, feeders, bulkers, logistics businesses with their regional headquarters and subsidiaries setting up here, making it an ideal environment for CyberLogitec to reach out to them with our value propositions.”
Mr Hyeon praised Singapore’s business-friendly environment, highlighting its efficient infrastructure, free-market economy, stable political environment and attractive tax regime. “Everyone also speaks in the international language of business,” he adds.
The country’s location is also a strong selling point. “Travelling around APAC countries is so much more convenient and there is a shorter travelling time due to Singapore’s unique time zone advantage,” says Mr Hyeon.
CyberLogitec offers a suite of six tools across the maritime, ports and logistics spaces. In the maritime segment, ALLEGRO – container carrier operations solution; CARA – carriers’ collaboration platform; and OPUS Stowage – containerised vessels’ stowage planning system; in the port segment OPUS Terminal – terminal operations system and EAGLE EYE – terminal automation system; and in the logistics segment OPUS Logistics – freight forwarding and warehousing system. Mr Low and Mr Hyeon highlight some of these products to explain how operators can benefit from CyberLogitec’s knowhow.
Mr Low characterises ALLEGRO as a “lifeline of shipping enterprise resource planning” for container shipping carriers. He says “Any process or task that a container carrier needs to run the business operation, we have it all covered… everything from vessel operations, to pricing, space allocation and control, booking and documentation, equipment management, cost management, business performance analyses and more.”
In July 2018, Netherlands-based container operator NileDutch opted to replace their existing shipping system with CyberLogitec’s ALLEGRO. NileDutch director of ICT Mark Kraaijenbrink says “ALLEGRO will help us to improve customer service and operational efficiency, drive better decision making and enhance yield optimisation.” China United Lines also utilises the ALLEGRO system, as does Japanese-Singaporean line Ocean Network Express and Singapore-based Pacific International Lines.
The OPUS Stowage system incorporates an optimisation engine, which plans out stowage on board container vessels. The engine applies heuristic algorithms to automate the stowage process, factoring in variables such as container destination, cargo weight, ship stability, ballast optimisation and more, to optimise stability, stowage capacity and efficiency, reducing wastage and improving planning productivity. Mr Low notes that for a vessel capable of carrying 5,000-8,000 containers, a planner might need three hours or more to produce a stowage plan, while OPUS Stowage can produce an optimised plan in as little as 20 minutes.
He notes that as vessel sizes are increasing rapidly, with mega-vessels carrying in excess of 19,000 TEU, and with carriers pushing to keep port stays as short as possible, the probability of human error increases exponentially increasing health and safety risks as a result of higher stress levels and tiredness from overtime working. Cloud technology improves communication between shore staff and seafarers enabling better decision making ahead of vessels docking, while the automated system can make better judgements than humans. The result is shorter port calls for vessels, and ports and terminals having a quicker turnaround of berths.
The OPUS Terminal system, which has been deployed at more than 30 terminals globally, was chosen by Safiport Derence for its newest container terminal in the Marmara region of Turkey in November 2018. Safiport Derence’s IT manager Tanzer Genc says “We have established Safiport to become the most advanced container terminal operator in Turkey.
“By implementing CyberLogitec’s OPUS Terminal, we believe that Safi will be able to better support its customers, streamline operational processes and enhance efficiency.”
Mr Low says “We are positioned to serve and support the whole supply chain with our suite of solutions – unlike other software vendors who just sell in one space.
“Our breadth of experience enables businesses to leverage on our integrated solutions to fill the gaps in the supply chain, rather than just be a band-aid that does not address the underlying root problems.”
Looking ahead, Mr Hyeon explains that the company has set up a team focusing on future innovation, working to integrate emerging technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence into CyberLogitec’s offerings. “Unlike a traditional R&D department, we do not seek to invent new technologies but rather explore and research indepth what benefits emerging technologies can be leveraged upon”, says Mr Low. “We study the overall industry trends and movements and develop prototypes to see if there’s a viable business case to bring these technologies into our current suite of solutions,” he adds.
One such example is adopting machine learning and robotic process automation – the heuristic engine introduced into the OPUS range. This simplifies booking requests, allowing the system to execute unstructured document analysis and automate simple and repeatable data-entry tasks, automatically picking relevant information to register a booking out of emails from clients without filling in a form. “The shipping business is very data driven, yet carriers are finding less and less people willing to do the data-entry work,” says Mr Low, explaining that this means the timing is ideal for bringing this kind of technology in.
The company is moving toward a subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, Mr Hyeon says, to realign with industry needs for IT assets to become commoditised. This demand arises because the SaaS model means customers do not need to carry the financial burden of IT infrastructure and asset costing, or worry about software updates, resulting in competitive pricing and enabling payment to be made on a per-use basis. Such models are flexible and scalable to meet the needs of businesses. The company is working towards delivering a solution with the capability to handle all types of general cargo, allowing the entire operation to be managed in real-time while keeping track of cargo movements via a single system to help terminals improve their productivity, reduce operational costs and optimise efficiency.