Monday, May 14, 2018


Five technologies which will have big impact on the future of shipping industry

 Blockchain technology – Shipping is starting to look at blockchain – a decentralised system to ensure consensus and data-authenticity that was originally developed for bitcoin transactions. Although the technology is still in its early days, it could be harnessed by the shipping industry in various ways and revolutionise how trade is performed. Maersk and IBM have already launched blockchain-based trade platforms and other companies are following.

Cloud technology – Cloud technology is having a significant impact on the way shipping companies operate. The benefits include ease of data access, the availability of information regardless of time or location, as well as the reduction of data silos. Additionally, the cloud makes it much easier for companies to integrate their systems and processes.
One of the core benefits is improving communication between staff at land and sea, so whether that’s crew planning, the execution of payroll or performance reviews of seamen, the digital data is always up-to-date and available where it is needed.
Cloud-based technology is also simplifying processes such as purchasing and stock planning, as well as helping companies comply with regulations more easily and mitigating the risks of fines.

Augmented reality (AR) – AR has multiple uses including the ability to connect employees in different global locations, deliver training and education or for companies to use the technology to increase the efficiency of product repairs or do demonstrations.
The possibilities in the shipping industry are endless and include pinpointing repairs, carrying out ship inspections and holding meetings – virtually, using specially developed AR devices. Whilst it’s likely to be two to five years until AR devices are rolled out across the shipping industry, we believe this technology will transform how the industry operates.

Autonomous ships Rolls Royce last year announced it was joining forces with Google Cloud to develop Rolls-Royce’s intelligent awareness software, which is already in use on ships today and will play a central role in the company’s drive towards autonomous vessels. They plan to have a fully autonomous ship at sea by 2020.
Last month also saw the launch of the world’s first autonomous shipping company in Norway. While it will take several years before it really impacts the industry, as a whole it’s clear autonomous ships will be a reality in the future.

Smart speakers – Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos are expected to be installed in over 70 million U.S. households by 2022. As the technology advances we predict that smart speakers and voice-controlled devices will also have an impact on the daily business of shipping companies. This will make accessing information quicker and easier, as well as editing or adding data simply by using voice commands.