Each year, hundreds of millions of containers are shipped all over the world on cargo ships. On average, it is estimated that the cargo stowed in at least one-third of containers are misdeclared when they are shipped. That’s a lot of goods.
This statistic is backed by the National Cargo Bureau, which found that 55% of containers inspected as part of a study did not comply with safety regulations on how cargo should be secured, labeled, or declared. Such breaches can result in chemical leakages, fires, or even explosions.
Stakeholders such as shipping companies and port operators could also suffer financial losses and face legal action if found to be responsible for such breaches. Cargo shipments could also be delayed.
While some cargoes—illegal or dangerous goods in particular—are misdeclared to avoid detection at customs, others are due to regulatory complexity. One reason is that there is an extensive list of shipping regulations that covers areas such as prohibited items, insurance, duties and taxes, and more. Regulations also tend to vary depending on the destination where the cargo is headed. Compliance becomes difficult to achieve not only because of regulatory complexity, but also because of human error.
Moaah is a Singapore-based company that leverages artificial intelligence and data analytics to solve these issues. Its solution entails the use of a proprietary database with large datasets on products and regulatory frameworks in international shipping. The database, which is updated daily, is applicable to over 180 countries and economic regions.
An algorithm is used to predict and classify cargo contents based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, or HS for short, an internationally recognized nomenclature for cargo shipment. This allows Moaah to cross-reference the information with its database to identify potential shipment misdeclaration or regulatory breaches. If any is found, the system notifies the clients automatically.
Moaah was founded in 2019 by Yun Sil Chu (CEO) and Josiah Fan (CTO), who wanted to make regulatory compliance easier for companies operating in the maritime and supply chain industries. Moaah, which is supported by NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), was a finalist in the Smart Port Challenge organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore in 2020.
Moaah applied to take part in the Project AsiaForward Alibaba Cloud Global Startup Accelerator Singapore Demo Day, held on June 1, 2022 at the Singapore EXPO.