AI & Big Data, Key Players In The Creation Of An Integrated Digital Ship


  • Based on a survey, it was concluded that vessel optimisation is the area that needs technology influence.
  • Owners need systems that can remotely connect bridge system data with communications infrastructure to give them access to a vessel data dashboard on a per vessel basis.
  • However, IT is being seen as a differentiator rather than an enabler.
  • Experts believe that Artificial Intelligence can optimize vessel performance and thus reduce excess fuel consumption and emission.
  • Big Data to change the business of shipping by delivering insight into the movement of cargoes around the world.

The maritime technology outlook for the coming years is very much about vessel optimization according to a survey of owners, operators, and managers, says an article published by Splash.

Fuel efficient technology

The fragmented nature of the tech providers and the naturally conservative, cost-conscious shipowning set will put the brakes on any huge technology changes.

“The obvious first driver this year is a technology that can deliver genuine fuel savings, lower emissions, and better vessel performance,” says Tore Morten Olsen, president of maritime at Marlink.

In support of that, Olsen says simplified data collection for efficiency and compliance is increasingly vital. 

Owners need systems that can remotely connect bridge system data with communications infrastructure to give them access to a vessel data dashboard on a per vessel basis.

IT as a differentiator

According to Rajesh Unni, the CEO of Singapore ship manager Synergy Marine Group, “The industry has started seeing IT as a differentiator rather than an enabler. The challenge remains in trying to find ways to make the best use of technology.”

Dennis Mol, vice president, digital and business transformation at MacGregor, says that customers are asking for two things in the current environment – aid to operate as efficiently as possible and quick response time.

“Customers want increased profitability and increased use of their ships. We can do this using big data, monitoring, and supporting our equipment remotely to harness data and evaluate information before anything happens,” Lundberg says.

The smart ship

“Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to harness both shipboard and external data to optimize vessel performance and thus reduce excess fuel consumption and, consequently, emissions,” says Gil Ofer, head of open innovation at Eastern Pacific Shipping.

To see the most significant gains from AI, however, Ofer points out that the use of high-frequency data coming from sensors will be necessary, and as such, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a top theme for the coming year.

Stronger and cheaper connectivity to ships, MESH networks onboard, greater use of sensor technology, vessel position, and operational data, will deliver significant new digital tools, says Manish Singh, the recently installed CEO of Videotel and Seagull.

This goes all the way from automating human/manual interactions through digital solutions to the increasing machine to machine interactions through IoT data and sensor-database exchanges, 

Similar predictions

Morten Lind-Olsen, CEO of Dualog’s predictions are not dissimilar to Henrik Hyldahn’s, the CEO of ShipServ, who says: 

“The continued upgrading in IT infrastructure within shipping will create the platform to accelerate the use of data and analytics, which provides owners and operators with real transparency to analyze their organizations and business models, driving efficiencies and optimizing performance and profitability. In line with this, throughout the coming months, we will also see the further progression in automation, which will lay the foundation for cognitive systems and intuitive interfaces, which – from a procurement perspective – will be a key element in its ongoing digitalization.”

Big data to change the face of business

In Hong Kong, William Fairclough, the managing director of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, reckons the coming year will see Big Data change the business of shipping with a host of competing platforms coming online promising to deliver unprecedented insight into the movement of cargoes around the globe.

Tommi Keskilohko, director of customer solutions at MacGregor, taps into this theme and puts it in the context of providing customers solutions to grow the earnings potential of each ship. 

He goes on to cite the company’s innovative Breakbulk Optimiser, which uses algorithms to work out the storage of a breakbulk vessel to optimize the carrying capacity and storage options. 

“We’re tapping into the revenue streams of our customers,” Keskilohko says.

Liner trades

Turning specifically to the liner trades, Thomas Bagge, CEO of the Digital Container Shipping Association, reckons we will see a continued acceleration of smart container usage, greater adoption of blockchain-enabled platforms, and like Ofer at Eastern Pacific, increased use of AI.

“What will hold the industry back from leveraging technology to achieve breakthrough results is if we repeat the same patterns of behavior from the past,” Bagge says.

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Source: Splash


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