Bearing Gets $7M from Mitsui and AI Fund to Fuel CII Optimization Tool

analysis tool for CII scores
Vessel operators need to plan for their CII scores which are due to come into play in 2023 (file photo)

Published Aug 17, 2022 6:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

New environmental regulations are poised to reshape the economics of maritime shipping. Starting in 2023, the International Maritime Organization will require ship owners to report Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) scores on an annual basis, with each vessel receiving a grade from A to E. To trade internationally vessels will need to bear a certificate of compliance and owners will also have to file multi-year plans to improve emissions on each of their ships.

Analysts continue to forecast that the business stakes are high. The expected outcome is that vessels with better CII scores will command higher market rates, while those with lower scores will be forced to charge less. 

Operators have only months to prepare before the new regulation takes effect, yet the view is that many ship operators, especially the smaller companies, don’t know how their vessels will score or what they can do to boost their results. 

Bearing, which has been developing artificial intelligence (AI) applications for the shipping industry reports that it is launching a new AI-powered application that can accurately predict for every vessel CII scores so that shipping companies can quickly gauge their risks, increase their ratings and make better-informed business decisions about the effects of the regulations. 

“Companies know the new CII regulation will affect their business, but they have no way to accurately assess its impact on a ship-by-ship basis,” said Bearing CEO Dylan Keil. “By combining our AI models with data from around the world, our CII Optimization product permits shippers to see what we see and take the steps they need to reduce their environmental impact while improving their bottom line.”

According to the company, its new application on its AI platform aggregates and analyzes a vast range of data about the global shipping fleet, enabling it to predict vessels’ fuel consumption, speed, and other aspects of performance. Using the same technology behind Bearing’s Smart Routing and Performance Analysis products, CII Optimization delivers results without shipboard integrations or customer IT resources. It leverages Bearing’s deep learning models, ECDIS-verified routing engine, and database of historical weather conditions to forecast CII scores and recommend potential changes to improve CII performance, including vessel speed, fuel type, sailing schedule, and underwater cleaning.

To further accelerate the ongoing R&D and go-to-market efforts for the new CII product, Bearing also announced $7 million in post-seed funding from existing investors Mitsui & Co. and AI Fund, bringing Bearing’s total investment to $10 million.

“Bearing has made a remarkable impact in a short period of time, earning the trust of some of the world’s largest maritime shipping companies,” said Yoshio Kometani, Representative Director, Executive Vice President of Mitsui & Co. “This new product demonstrates Bearing’s deep understanding of customer needs and the remarkable power of its AI platform.”