As we move ahead in the age of smartphones and are linked wherever we go, we generate huge amounts of data about where we are and what we do. The Maritime Industry has not been left behind in the pursuit of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
At this time, Fujitsu has collaborated with Class NK, and MOL has been confirmed as a participant to develop a process of collecting all data related to ships – namely engine, navigational, voyage, and weather data, to build the first shared big data platform in the maritime industry. They have taken a lead, and GE has followed suit by signing a contract with Maersk to use technology to improve fuel efficiency and operational flexibility of Auxiliary Engines on board Maersk vessels.
Technology comes with advantages such as savings in time as well as ease of operations. We have moved forward from the times when communications and reports from the office used to come by post on board vessels. Some of the visible advantages are:
- Building up a vessel support network and improving operating safety levels.
- Reducing vessel’s environmental impact and therefore contributing to the overall emissions level reduction task.
- Enhancing ship management by reducing time and making operations economical in times of downturn thereby contributing to the bottom line of company.
- Making all stakeholders understand the exact picture on board with KPI’s, graphs, reports which are available to everyone.
- Understanding of current challenges and be ready for future challenges.
Although Big Data has been there for some time, given the conservative nature of the Shipping Industry, it is an entirely new beginning for them. This brings a sense of dilemma either to invest more in already testing times, or not invest, and “wait and watch,” to potentially be left behind by competitors.
The benefits of Big Data have been proven in multiple industries, and it is time for the Shipping industry to embrace it as well. Companies that do will gain an upper hand over their competition in order to be a step ahead of their industry rivals. One way to do this is to develop a customized solution. This is an expensive option, from a time invested and financial perspective. A second way forward is to purchase a solution that handles all the data generated as long as the entire suite of products used is purchased from them. The last option is to continue using the systems currently being used, but supplementing it with a Big Data and Analytics tool that can process data from the different systems currently being used. BIOME is one such solution that can handle the data from various different software suites and returns outstanding analytics that can be deliberated upon in board meetings.