The fu­ture of the mar­itime in­dus­try will be shaped by tech­nol­ogy. Ex­ec­u­tives in the in­dus­try share their views.

The fu­ture of the mar­itime in­dus­try will be shaped by data. It may only be in its in­fancy, but dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion ef­forts will im­prove ship­ping in ways many would have never thought pos­si­ble.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - CHEYENNE HOL­LIS

Data is in­deed rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the ship­ping in­dus­try and it is en­abling us to con­nect hard­ware with ser­vices, peo­ple and other data streams to build bet­ter ways of do­ing busi­ness.

This could, for ex­am­ple, in­volve the use of digital twins to en­hance de­sign, con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion. This could in­volve pre­dic­tive main­te­nance, in­creased fuel ef­fi­ciency and faster emer­gency re­sponse,” Ms Elis­a­beth Tørstad, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Digital So­lu­tions at DNV GL, said. “But it is also about us­ing data to im­ple­ment bet­ter plan­ning and bet­ter sup­ply chain man­age­ment, with less time at sea in bal­last and more time ac­tu­ally cre­at­ing value for cus­tomers.”

Per­haps the most ex­cit­ing as­pect of data in the ship­ping in­dus­try is that the po­ten­tial it holds is only start­ing to be re­alised. Once more trust is es­tab­lished in how data is gen­er­ated, col­lected and stored, it will be­come even more valu­able to com­pa­nies.

“We will see a de­vel­op­ment to­wards richer in­stru­men­ta­tion of sys­tems and struc­tures on­board, more so­phis­ti­cated soft­ware-based con­trol sys­tems, im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity and in­creased use of big data. And with this, trust be­comes in­creas­ingly im­por­tant,” Ms Tørstad stated. “We have to be able to trust the sen­sors that gen­er­ate data, the way data is stored, the peo­ple who ac­cess the data and the al­go­rithms that make sense of the data.”

She added that once trust in data is fully es­tab­lished, ma­chine learn­ing could of­fer huge ad­van­tages, such as in­creased safety lev­els, more up-time and even re­duced main­te­nance cost.

For DNV GL, deal­ing with data is noth­ing new. The com­pany has acted as a cus­to­dian for large amounts of in­dus­try data since it was es­tab­lished in 1864. Un­der­stand­ing the grow­ing im­por­tance of both data and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion as a whole, DNV GL cre­ated a Digital So­lu­tions or­gan­i­sa­tion which be­gan op­er­a­tions in 2018.

The new out­fit was cre­ated to help DNV GL lever­age the full po­ten­tial of an in­creas­ingly digital world and bet­ter cap­ture the op­por­tu­ni­ties in ar­eas such as data shar­ing, ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics, au­to­ma­tion and ma­chine learn­ing. It was struc­tured into five main ar­eas: soft­ware so­lu­tions solv­ing tech­ni­cal and op­er­a­tional chal­lenges re­lated to in­dus­trial op­er­a­tions, data man­age­ment and qual­ity ser­vices, cy­ber se­cu­rity-ser­vices, cus­tom made digital ser­vices and the com­pany’s data plat­form, Verac­ity.

The lat­ter in­no­va­tion aims to help mar­itime firms un­lock, qual­ify, com­bine and pre­pare data for an­a­lyt­ics and bench­mark­ing.

“Verac­ity is a cloud based data man­age­ment plat­form fa­cil­i­tat­ing se­cure data shar­ing and com­bin­ing data sets for big data an­a­lyt­ics. Our Verac­ity Data Plat­form is a key en­abler for un­lock­ing the value em­bed­ded in data.” Ms Tørstad pointed out. Verac­ity, along with the other four

ar­eas of DNV GL’s Digital So­lu­tions or­gan­i­sa­tion, con­sists of digital in­dus­try ex­perts de­liv­er­ing data smart so­lu­tions to as­sist cus­tomers in their digital trans­for­ma­tion.

“This trans­for­ma­tion holds huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for the in­dus­try, in­clud­ing the mar­itime sec­tor, to en­hance busi­ness per­for­mance, re-de­sign busi­ness mod­els and en­gage more ef­fec­tively with stake­hold­ers,” Ms Tørstad ex­plained.

As Ms Tørstad noted, dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and the use of data will of­fer many op­por­tu­ni­ties to ship­ping com­pa­nies in the com­ing decades, in­clud­ing safety im­prove­ments and cost sav­ing ben­e­fits to own­ers. Those who don’t act risk miss­ing out on these and other ben­e­fits.

“By not adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies, mar­itime com­pa­nies risk miss­ing out on the op­por­tu­ni­ties and ben­e­fits that dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion brings,” Ms Tørstad said. “We also be­lieve that stake­hold­ers will in­creas­ingly de­mand ac­cess to data, as we see with the new EU Mon­i­tor­ing, Re­port­ing and Ver­i­fi­ca­tion (MRV) reg­u­la­tion for ex­am­ple.”

Chart­ing a Fu­ture Course

Au­tonomous ships were among the most ex­cit­ing top­ics at the Nor­way-

Asia Busi­ness 2018. Ms Tørstad pointed this form of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is com­ing to the ship­ping in­dus­try sooner rather than later.

“I be­lieve that au­tonomous ships will be­come a re­al­ity in short sea and coastal ship­ping soon. This will fea­ture spe­cialised ships trad­ing in na­tional waters and within one ju­ris­dic­tion, like we see with the an­nounced un­manned ship Yara Birke­land that was launched three years ago,” Ms Tørstad stated. “Many steps will be needed be­fore fully un­manned ships can be­come a re­al­ity in deep sea ship­ping.”

The ben­e­fits of au­tonomous ships are nu­mer­ous. They will greatly in­crease safety and op­er­a­tional per­for­mance through smart con­trol and sup­port sys­tems. Mean­while, lower op­er­a­tional costs due to re­duced fuel consumption and crew costs are among the eco­nom­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions.

And this isn’t the only change com­ing to the mar­itime in­dus­try. Ear­lier this year, the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion ( IMO) adopted a strat­egy to re­duce the ship­ping in­dus­try’s green­house gas emis­sions by 50 per­cent be­fore 2050.

The push to­wards de­car­bon­i­sa­tion will see more and more ships move away from oil in the com­ing years. This presents both chal­lenges as well as op­por­tu­ni­ties with the use of low-car­bon al­ter­na­tives likely to in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly.

“The con­tin­u­ing pres­sure to re­duce emis­sions to air from ships will have a large im­pact on the ship­ping in­dus­try go­ing for­ward, most par­tic­u­larly in re­gards to the choice of fuels,” Ms Tørstad said. “In our 2017 Mar­itime En­ergy Tran­si­tion Out­look, we con­cluded that oil will no longer be the over­whelm­ing fuel choice for trad­ing ves­sels in 2050. Nat­u­ral gas will step up to be­come the sec­ond-most widely used fuel in the in­dus­try with new low-car­bon al­ter­na­tives, such as elec­tric­ity and bio­fu­els, also likely to in­crease. These low-car­bon al­ter­na­tives could sup­ply nearly a quar­ter of the fleet in 2050.”

PHOTO: NBAS/ALEX JANU PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

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