‘K’ LINE automates laytime statements with AI-powered OCR

Japanese shipping company ‘K’ LINE has announced the development of a new system using AI-powered Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for the automated creation of laytime statements for dry bulk carriers.

The new CHRONUS system incorporates AI-OCR technology developed by Cinnamon Inc, which uses AI to recognise optically-captured printed and handwritten text and is capable of automatically retrieving required information from cargo loading and unloading records.

The data from the Statements of Fact for the company’s dry bulk carriers will then automatically be applied to calculation of demurrage and dispatch fees by the system’s integrated software and a laytime statement automatically prepared, recording the difference between the allowed cargo handling time and the actual time taken.

In dry bulk carrier contracts, cargo owners and shipping companies typically include a laytime time limit at a port for loading and unloading. When a voyage is completed the actual duration of the vessel’s stay in port is calculated and demurrage and dispatch fees actually incurred are settled.

The laytime statement is prepared after calculating the net cargo handling time, excluding the duration when services are not being performed due to issues like rain or equipment failure, in accordance with the details included in the Statements of Fact provided by shipping agencies at individual ports.

However, the format of the Statements of Fact documents will vary depending on the port or the cargo owner involved, which typically means that a chronological record of the cargo handling work will need to be entered into a spreadsheet to calculate the laytime.

The CHRONUS system eliminates the manual elements of this process, while also reducing calculation errors during the preparation of the statements by extracting and digitally recording the written information. ‘K’ LINE’s dry bulk team is now standardising its workflows to incorporate the technology.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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