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Windward’s new AI offering aims to root out ‘questionable business partners’

Shipping is often lambasted for its shady practices and lack of transparency. It’s an issue the shipping industry has long struggled with. As Rose George said in her 2013 book on the sector, Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside shipping, the Invisible Industry that Brings You 90% of Everything, “There are few industries as defiantly opaque as this one.”

Now, however, a maritime tech firm claims it has developed an artificial intelligence tool to root out what it describes as “questionable business partners”.

Windward, the London-based Israeli predictive maritime intelligence company, which has featured ex-BP supremo Lord John Browne, former CIA director David Petraeus and Tom Glocer, the ex-CEO of Reuters as boardmembers, has unveiled its Maritime Artificial Intelligence Analytics (MAIA) solution. Consisting of 10bn datapoints and 300 behavioural analysis models, MAIA “screens, searches and analyses dynamic maritime data to connect the dots and discover potential risks and questionable business partners”, the company claimed in a release.

By continuously applying MAIA’s behavioural analysis models, Windward’s solution provides dynamic predictive intelligence based on vessel identity, cargo visibility, true location, voyage patterns, and more. MAIA links this knowledge into patterns and profiles.

“We are excited to usher in the era of Maritime 4.0, the next evolution of maritime intelligence empowering all stakeholders in the ecosystem,” said Ami Daniel, CEO of Windward. “Risk management lies at the core of any business operation, and maritime is no exception. With our predictive intelligence solution, we are giving authorities, banks, insurers, shipping companies, and others the most comprehensive view of maritime risk and enabling the highest level of accountability and transparency.”

Voyage irregularities is one of the many new features powered by MAIA and the company has been high-profile in recent weeks tracking the final voyages of casualties such as the Wakashio off Mauritius and the Gulf Livestock 1 off Japan.

By detecting inconsistencies and behavioural irregularities, including the vessel’s age, ship to ship transfers, course deviations, transmission gaps, flag hopping, and more, Windward says its predictive intelligence solution ensures industry players only do business with entities that comply with all the latest regulations.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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