Magenta deploys its multi-agent technology to optimize one of the World's largest oil tanker fleets

Magenta provides Tankers International's London-based agency with one of the most innovative real-time scheduling systems in the World

LONDON, August 13, 2004 -- Magenta Technology, a leading provider of multi-agent technology for enterprises, has announced that Tankers International (TI), one of the largest VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) oil tanker pools in the world, will use its multi-agent technology to schedule its fleet in real-time. The multi-agent software enables TI's London-based agency, Tankers (UK) Agencies, to dynamically choose the most profitable deployment of ships-to-cargo for its 42 VLCC fleet. The oil transportation market is extremely volatile with transportation costs fluctuating on a daily basis, therefore TI has to be able to deal with unexpected circumstances and operate from an optimized schedule, and Magenta's multi-agent technology is instrumental in allowing it to do this.

The system, which goes live in September 2004, is one of the most innovative real-time scheduling systems in the world. The multi-agent technology allows TI to assess potential cargoes in the marketplace, match these against its vessels' specifications and calculate voyage profitability. Further, unlike traditional rules-based systems, the multi-agent technology responds to real world changes impacting a schedule and replans the most advantageous schedule at that point in time.

Within the TI scheduling system, the multi-agent technology works by allocating a single agent - in effect a small software program - to each element of the business network. These agents then work collectively to find the best fit between supply and demand to meet the specification of individual vessels as well as the strategy of the entire fleet.

Therefore, when a new cargo is offered, agents are created within the database that contains all the data about the cargo - for example freight rates, size and type of cargo, as well as load and discharge ports. The agents then negotiate within the virtual market to decide the optimum vessel for the cargo, based on TI's fleet strategy. The agents do this by competing to find the best solution between supply and demand by comparing alternative routes, vessels, ports, costs, freight rates, fuel for propulsion, speed, distance and even positions of the vessels. This data and the defining concepts upon which the agents base their decisions are stored within the knowledge database, known as the Ontology.

Unlike other systems, the agents are also able to resolve conflicts as they are not bound by rigid rules and are able to work around problems. Furthermore, having presented the best solutions to the operations team, the agents continue to work to provide alternative solutions to ensure that any unforeseen factors, such as changing freight rates or vessel positions are reacted to dynamically.

Paul Gordon, the IT Manager of Tankers (UK) Agencies, said: "Tankers International is recognized as one of the most innovative IT adopters in the shipping sector and our selection of Magenta's pioneering multi-agent software will help us to enhance our competitive edge. As the oil shipping market is one of the most volatile in the world, it is vital that we are able to work within the dynamic, real-time environment that this multi-agent technology will provide."

Jon Birkholm, Deputy CEO at Tankers (UK) Agencies, added: "This technology will play a central part in making us as effective and cost-efficient as possible. We are delighted to be among the first businesses in the world to really see the benefits of this innovative approach to planning, and are very excited about the extra opportunities that it will be opening up for us."

Jonathan Himoff, the CEO of Magenta Technology, said: "The solution provided for Tankers proves how Magenta delivers better decisions faster. Our agents react and respond to real-world events and changing demand to give a range of options that can be chosen depending on which business strategy is active at any time. This is truly unique and an exciting first step in introducing multi-agent technology to enterprises."

About Magenta

Magenta Technology is a London-based company, specializing in the commercial application of agent technology. Through collaboration with end users, software developers and solution integrators, Magenta delivers rapid, measurable value, helping enterprises cope with today's increasing demand and supply uncertainties. Magenta is a leading provider of multi-agent technology, which can be used within a variety of applications such as within the supply chain execution market. Magenta Technology also has one of the most experienced and highly skilled multi-agent software development teams which is based out of Russia. For more information, please visit

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