Channel 5: artificial intelligence for ports of the future

Published on: 11 October 2017
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MGI présente le Guichet Unique Portuaire à l'AGPAOC

From the left to right Christophe Reynaud, innovation manager and Bastien Boulnois innovation project manager


Awarded best innovation in logistics at the Port of the Future Conference

MGI recently launched the development of Channel 5, a highly innovative decision-making tool for the port sector. What makes it so special ? Artificial intelligence, which is being developed in partnership with CEA Tech, the technological research department at the CEA.

At the latest Port of the Future Conference (Assises du Port du futur) held in Paris on 26 and 27 September 2017, MGI received the Port of the Future Trophy in the logistics category for its Channel 5 solution. These trophies award innovative solutions for ports, port managers and their clients, improving the performance, competitiveness and security of ports.

The aim of Channel 5 is to give an accurate real-time overview of port system status. It will notify users about how well gate operations and planned import and export goods flows at sea port terminals are running, thereby offering a concrete solution to the needs of all ports.

What’s more, with its artificial intelligence technology developed in collaboration with the List, the CEA Tech institute dedicated to smart digital systems, Channel 5 will detect problems and instantly propose alternatives to users in order to reduce port congestion.

Terminal operators, port authorities, road haulers, shipping agents and freight forwarders all stand to gain directly from this new service. Even more, the city as a whole, and especially drivers, will also benefit by a reduction in traffic around terminals.

A bona fide information sensor

The idea behind Channel 5 is to merge data from MGI’s Port Community System (PCS) with data from sources likely to impact transit flows, including weather forecasts, road traffic updates, handling equipment problems, any strikes in the terminal and the volume of goods traffic expected. This information will then be compared with a set of activity-based rules to assess whether operations are normal or disrupted and determine which players could be affected by any problems. Channel 5 will then immediately offer alternatives in response to any difficulties.

For Christophe Reynaud, Head of Innovation at MGI, Channel 5 is an unprecedented service for port logistics professionals. “The AI core integrated into our system will reduce operator workloads and point them to the best solution in  situations where they could end up choosing less efficient options if they don’t have all the data or the time to analyse it,” he says.

For Philippe Watteau, Director of the CEA Tech List institute, “As a trailblazer in logistics flow management tools, MGI can now count on our expertise in artificial intelligence to develop high-performance solutions that stand out from the competition. By integrating our decision-making systems into their tools, MGI will make life easier for operators. Our technological know-how will therefore support a key player in port infrastructure.”

Channel 5 is currently in the Proof of Concept phase. We are analysing the behaviour of the system with Seayard, our terminal operator partner, and the engineers at CEA Tech. Finalisation is scheduled for 2018. Channel 5 will then be available as an additional module to Ci5, with implementation of this PCS in the Marseille-Fos Port planned for the second quarter of 2018. Channel 5 will also be compatible with all ports, even if they do not have a PCS.

This new service is part of the Smart Port initiative launched by the Aix-Marseille-Provence agglomeration. Channel 5 will also increase collaborative work and the port spirit of PCS users.