The Busan Port Authority (BPA) identified a need among the port’s stakeholders both internally and externally to be able to easily and quickly access the latest port information and cargo handling statistics. While data was already available to third parties, accessing it was time-consuming and labor intensive for both the customers, and the BPA staff tasked with sourcing and forwarding the information.
To alleviate the workload for BPA staff, and the waiting time and effort required for stakeholders with statistics enquiries, BPA launched a ‘chatbot’ via Korea’s most popular smartphone messaging service, Kakao Talk, that could offer instant information on the latest port statistics and data. The chatbot was created and implemented in collaboration with local technology start-up, Chatis. Internal and external stakeholders can access the chatbot simply by searching for ‘Busan Port Statistics’ using their Kakao Talk app.
The chatbot then instantly offers the latest information on total handled cargo according to type, cargo increase and decrease by country, and the current status of piers and port facilities, including berths’ width, depth, and capacity. Statistics automatically update each month by accessing Busan Port’s Big Data system.
The introduction of the chatbot was well-received among Busan Port stakeholders and customers, who praised the new service for its efficiency and ease of use. As of December 2020, the chatbot has had a total of 1,369 results of usage , averaging at almost 8 requests for information per day since its launch. It is estimated that the chatbot has saved a total of 36days’ work annually for a BPA staff member. The BPA aims for the chatbot to eventually have more than 3,000 individual, regular users.