Maersk's India accelerator is graduating 7 startups

BENGALURU: Copenhagen-based shipping and logistics major AP Moeller Maersk on Thursday said its first cohort of seven Indian startups have graduated from its accelerator programme OceanPro.

The startups - Zasti, Inatrix, MintM, KrypC, LinkedDots, LaVela Pictures and Dhruv - are focused on using machine learning, AI, VR and IoT to solve problems in logistics and shipping.

Maersk, which ships on average 3 million containers worldwide for 29,000 plus customers, has already signed a contract with startup Linkeddots for use of its solution to track containers in Europe, North America and Africa. "Thanks to the Ubers of the world, customers now want to know the estimated time of arrival (ETA) for their goods. And fitting IoT sensors or smartboxes on each and every container would prove to be a costly undertaking. So what our solution does is track the GPS of the truck so that customers can see where their package is heading real-time," said Devaraj Srinivasan, founder of LinkedDots.

"We are looking at the comfort factor for customers," said Sriram Narayanasami, vice-president - commercial at Maersk. He said once a container leaves the port, there is very little visibility till it reaches the warehouse. "So we want to make this more visible. In future, we also hope to incorporate other elements like bad weather so that re-routing is possible for safer and faster shipment," he said.

Another solution Maersk is hoping to scale is Dhruv's tracking solution that uses artificial intelligence to scan images of container wear and tear. "We have now been running a pilot in the Chennai and Vietnam yards with 200 containers. We'll be looking at implementing it at other dockyards too. When we have better tools to assess damage or minor faults, insurance claims submission and processing become easier," said Narayanasami.

Dhruv currently scans millions of images that surveyors submit after assessing Maersk's containers. "Sometimes surveyors submit old images, instead of going to the spot and reassessing the container. Our solution will help avoid fraud and duplication of images. It will also help in estimating the damage. For instance, as more data is fed in, our system can detect anything from minor faults to cracks that could prove a safety hazard, leading to the retirement of the container," said Deepak Kapoor, co-founder of Dhruv.

LaVela Pictures helps create virtual reality tours of some of Maersk's biggest container ships. "We are hoping that the use case would go beyond ships to ports and dockyards. As safety is always a concern, we can recreate a tour before our people actually start working on the sites," said Narayanasami.