Using Information Technology to improve compliance and competitive edge in the maritime industry

Information technology is at the forefront of discussions about the future of the shipping industry. The Mona Lisa project is supporting and promoting eco-efficient e-navigation solutions for the industry. Automated ships would use these technologies to safely navigate the waters of the North and Baltic Seas. This is the bleeding edge of technology in shipping today.

Information and Communication technologies have been an advantage to any industry. Right from early 20th century until now, industries have taken advantage of various advances in communication technologies, and shipping industry has been no different.

Here are some of the ways that the industry is using IT and communication technology right now:

  • On-board safety & Compliance
    • Reducing the bridge team’s administration workload through the introduction of ECDIS and improvements in navigational safety leading to safer seas,
    • To increase safety levels, and improve operational efficiencies and standards,
    • Savings seafarer’s time and increased focus on enhancing operations on a day to day basis.
    • Increasing the percentage of on time voyages. No voyage delays means that vessels are better prepared for PSC inspections,
    • Ship Managers are better equipped that helps in quick decision making and instant approvals.
    • With new web based port solutions coming to the fore, the total time in documentation would be further reduced leading to a positive effect on cargo volumes and reduction in overall cost of operations at a particular port.
    • Fewer manual processes – better working conditions, higher crew retention and low attrition rates for the organization as a whole.
  • Gaining a competitive edge in the market
    • Cost optimization, Increase business transparency, reduces the value chain in order to increase visibility and shorten the distance between ships and offices
    • Giving companies a competitive edge in a market where cost savings are the emphasis after low oil prices,
    • Clear effects of improvements in vessel performance on company’s ROCE and bottom line.
    • Maximize the ROI for a company on using such software by having access to visible indicators to be presented to senior management as well as help management adjust their strategies and gain advantage to competition.
    • Newer companies are coming up with solutions to link vessel carriers and port authorities that would help to jointly manage the stowage planning and execution process thus reducing the “Vessel Turnaround Time” as well as increasing productivity and trade volumes.
  • The use of digitization would lead to a better sync among various supply chain stakeholders leading to “Collaborative Decision Making” that further helps each one of them.
  • As more and more news keep coming, Port of Rotterdam has announced one of its terminal as World’s first Automated port terminal which augurs well for the industry and sets up an example for other ports to follow in future.

At OceanManager, we are using technology to reduce the distance between a vessel and her shore office, and improve on-board safety and compliance:

  • Developing a system to deliver safety circulars to the crew of an entire fleet, or select group of vessels, and then measuring how well the circular was understood,
  • Easy for Superintendents and Managers to view information and to stay at par with the current situation on board while travelling. (VESRIM and VESTRAK) are two phone based applications available on iOS and Android to keep track of happenings on board your vessels. Vessel Performance Monitoring helps you monitor and control all parameters reported from your vessels.

Afterword

Though the Mona Lisa project is taking a lead in providing the most optimal routes and reducing emissions, we all as part of the shipping fraternity should now look at advantages of technology and try to reap maximum benefits in terms of competition and playing our part in reducing environmental emissions.