Will a solution to the global supply chain difficulties, as least as far as sea cargo is concerned, come from Israel? Israeli company Windward (LSE: WNWD), which provides artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for analyzing maritime risks, is launching a new solution that it says will help to deal with delays in the supply chain.
Windward reports that the solution that it has developed, Ocean Freight Visibility, allows transparency and visibility for all cargo vessels. It thus enables shipping companies to improve their efficiency and the service they provide their customers, through smart, automatic data gathering and analysis, and precise location forecasts in real time, disruption and delay forecasts, reasons for delays, and location-based insights for all their customers' containers.
The system enables users to input information into the platform on their containers, and thus work proactively to reduce risks of disruption to the shipment. The system warns immediately of delays, and so the user is able to update his customer. Windward has already supplied the solution to shipping companies such as DSV and Metro Shipping.
Windward says that the supply chain has been badly damaged in the coronavirus pandemic, with freight rates rising by 1,500% in the past two years. According to the company's data, 90% of world trade in goods is transported by sea, but the reliability of information on shipping times is very low, and only 30-40% of cargoes arrive on time.
"The current supply chain crisis demonstrates how low visibility is for the location of sea cargoes." Windward co-founder and CEO Ami Daniel said. "Cargo shippers are the key to making the supply chain more efficient. Through our experience in maritime applications for artificial intelligence, we are offering them a solution for improving visibility in real time, and providing practical insights so that they will be able to give a more competitive service."
Daniel added that the supply chain was coping with many challenges: a rise in consumer demand, old infrastructures, a shortage of manpower, and constant outbreaks of local disruptions. All this, he said, creates "complete chaos." "We don't know when the supply chain crisis will end, and so creating solutions that will help in managing supply chain risk is critical," he added.
Daniel founded Windward in 2010 together with Matan Peled, who runs the company's US operations. The company's chairman is Lord John Browne, a former CEO of energy giant BP. Windward went public on the AIM market in London two and a half months ago. It raised pound26.3 million gross from new investors and pound8.2 million from existing investors, at 155 pence per share and a valuation of pound127 million.
At its peak, the share price reached 220 pence, but it has weakened since then and is now at a similar level to the IPO price.