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Japan Artificial Intelligence at Ports

Japan announced Port 2030, a medium-and long- term plan to improve its ports.

To cope with a rapidly changing society, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced port’s medium- and long- term plan, named PORT 2030. The proposal has three fundamental principles: 1) Connect the Ports, 2.) Create World-Class Ports, and 3) Have Smart Ports. The third element is vital as it combines artificial intelligence and Big Data to be included in their port integration strategy. 

Seventy percent of goods in terms of monetary value (99.7 percent in terms of weights) enter Japan via cargo ships. With the emergence of East Asian countries, deployment of mega containers, an increase in cruise ships, the needs of port management have increased.  Japan’s 5th Industrial Revolution calls for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help increase imports of LNG, respond to natural disasters, and fix decrepit infrastructure. These phenomena include highlighting the requirements to develop ports into multi-functional and highly efficient business centers. 

The critical element of “Smart Port” is the construction of the “AI Terminal.” To achieve an AI port terminal model by 2022, Japan aims to:
1) Optimize container storage and traffic management using Big Data.
2) Skills training for workers’ cargo handling and technical know-how of systems while streamlining services with a reduced workforce. 
3) Accident prevention using AI that can detect shifting cargo and maintenance breakdown.

While the government sets the guidelines and the port authority manages operations, Mitsui Engineering & Shipping and Mitsubishi Logistics serve as leading port operators working with companies that provide AI expertise.

If you are interested in learning further about PORT2030, please contact Ms. Miho Hoshino, Commercial Assistant at