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Peterson's "VOR" - the Google Alexa of logistics

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Logistics company Peterson, together with software company Streamba, is developing a logistics system which aims to provide much better access to information about offshore shipments.

Logistics company Peterson, which specialises in the energy industry, is working together with software company Streamba to develop a logistics software system called 'Vor' which provides much richer information about logistics shipments, including the ability to interrogate the system using voice commands similar to Google's Alexa.

Peterson is a part owner of Streamba and its main financial backer.

The software product, 'Vor', is named after the goddess of wisdom in Norse anthology.

The aim is to provide easy access to as much information as possible, so that customers, such as logistics managers and offshore installation managers, do not need to make phone calls to find out what is going on, says Steven Calder, director of Streamba.

Oil and gas companies are used to not knowing when a certain item will arrive until they see it arrive, Mr Calder says.

So far, 2 oil majors are using the system for their global operation, he says.

As well as data from the logistics software systems, the software provides additional data which might be helpful, such as vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) data so you can see the current location of the vessel delivering your supplies, or relevant weather information, for example that a thunderstorm is forecast for the anticipated time the vessel will be unloading cargo.

You can interrogate the software with voice commands, for example asking where a certain shipment is, or booking another shipment. This could prove very useful for (for example) offshore workers who want to know when something is arriving, without having to wash their hands and remove gloves so they can use a PC.

The system also incorporates real time images, for example from a camera on the vessel, which can let you see the cargo the vessel is carrying, rather than have to take the computer systems' word for it.

Streamba is developing technology to automatically scan images looking for data which might be useful in the tracking system, for example a container number.

The system might also make it easier to identify ways to share vessel space between companies, if one company can use a camera image to notice a vessel is about to sail with spare deck space.

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