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Logistics News

Asyad Global Logistics Challenge: Where Big Ideas Are Born

From a stymied global supply chain to rapidly shifting consumer demands, the logistics industry is facing an era of unprecedented change. With an estimated USD8.6 trillion at stake, companies need to stay ahead of the game.

Against this backdrop, Asyad Group, Oman’s integrated logistics service provider, and like-minded organisations, have been thinking outside of the box. Recognising the potential for optimising its own operations, the Group brought its own data-driven approach to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Tapping into the massive potential of the world’s biggest cultural gathering, and in collaboration with Hypermotion Dubai and the Sultanate’s technology arm, Omantel, it organised a world-class Asyad Global Logistics Challenge.

Encompassing two fast-past competitions; Asyad Global Logistics Hackathon and Asyad Global Startup Challenge, it brought together 57 of the brightest entrepreneurs and creative thinkers from 15 countries across six continents, to spearhead change in the industry.

“Data science is the currency of today and tomorrow and has given rise to new business models. The Asyad Global Logistics Challenge offered an ideal platform for us and our participants to channel these capabilities, advance innovation and build a sustainable data-driven industry,” said Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, CEO of Asyad Group.

From an initial 588 applicants, the two-day Hackathon saw 45 data scientists building complex algorithms to solve real-world logistics problems including vessel maintenance prediction, vessel fuel and route optimization, marine sensors using IoT, emissions monitoring, and Ports asset damage identification using image processing.

Using AI to evaluate and monitor results, Team Noufal emerged victorious. A two-member team from India and Oman, they were able to build an algorithm that uses historical ship building data to accurately forecast potential build prices and predict the best time to buy or hold a vessel.

Meanwhile, the Startup Challenge was fierce. Having whittled down almost 50 applications to just 12, the final competition included seven regional companies and five internationals. Taking away first place and a USD25,000 prize was Cubex Global LLC, a digital marketplace for ocean freight from the UAE.

Looking to solve the problem that over 100 million shipping containers remain 25 to 40% empty while travelling from port to port, Cubex Global developed a digital marketplace built upon collaborative blockchain principles, which enables the buying and selling of cubic metres of container space.

Allowing buyers and sellers to participate in equitable trade while competing for fair pricing, it also combats the 25-billion-dollar loss in shipping empty space every year, as well as the 280 million tons of carbon emissions that are produced as a result.

As the Asyad Global Logistics Challenge came to a successful conclusion, it drove home the importance of adopting a creative mindset for the advancement and competitiveness of the logistics industry and that it is through collaboration, that organizations such as Asyad Group will unlock the game-changing potential of big data.