Written by Silje Moan, Chief Operating Officer | 16 May 2019
90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea, making maritime transport essential to the world’s economy. Shipping is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly way to move goods and raw materials all around the world.
However, customer demands and expectations are higher than ever before. Corporations that depend on shipping to bring their products to ports all over the world are turning to operators that deliver streamlined services and deeper value along the supply chain.
This is putting intense pressure on shipping organisations to operate more efficiently, strategically and profitably. In an increasingly competitive maritime supply chain environment, ship owners and operators are turning to information and communication technology (ICT) to meet the demands of their customers and deliver on global safety and sustainability expectations.
Related article: How ICT solutions can be used strategically in shipping
The maritime industry has long traditions of continuously adopting and adapting to new technology. However, the advances in ICT systems enable more data to be collected, analysed and integrated into the decision making process at all levels. This digital transformation will profoundly impact shipping by creating a more connected, integrated and efficient industry.
So how is ICT helping shipping become safer and more financially and environmentally sustainable?
Shipping is part of a global supply chain, and stakeholders such as charterers and cargo owners require that shipping companies provide full end-to-end visibility into cargo conditions and status.
In any supply chain, delivering products on time and in the agreed condition is key to making customers happy and bringing repeat business. IoT-based solutions integrated into cargo systems such as refrigerated containers allow live monitoring of the product by the shipper. Real-time cargo tracking is particularly important for ships that carry time-sensitive cargos, such as perishable goods.
Advanced ICT allows data and information to be optimised and sent in real time to captains, crew members, other vessels in the network, and shipping companies on land.
Equipment and machinery failures and unplanned repairs are not rare occurrences for ships sailing the high seas, and they often result in costly downtime. ICT systems such as onboard IoT devices and sensors help prevent this, by enabling predictive maintenance.
Predictive maintenance, or condition-based maintenance, continuously monitors the actual condition of the equipment and machinery through sensor measurements.
This proactive approach to technical maintenance gives you a better overview of the condition of shipboard equipment. By looking at patterns and trends, you can detect any deterioration and predict when the equipment might fail – and then intervene well before this happens. Such an approach will ensure that machinery and equipment operate optimally at all times, lowering the risk of disruption to normal vessel operations.
Moreover, predictive maintenance enabled by ICT allows your crew to better plan their maintenance schedule.
ICT systems automate and streamline the flow of information between the different parties in the maritime transport chain, improving their operations. Up-to-date data on all ships allows ports to plan accordingly. The captain gets information regarding port availability and can thus optimise his route.
Ships planning their voyage by leveraging cargo, environmental and port data will save fuel by taking shorter routes and adapting speed to match the availability of port services. Moving cargo faster and more efficiently through the maritime logistics chain will in turn reduce fleet CO2 emissions, plus reduce the cost for ship owners.
More than ever before, the maritime industry relies on information and communication technologies. ICT systems add value to the maritime industry by connecting ships, ports and people.
Digitalising your ship operations generates a range of data that helps you make better-informed operational decisions across your fleet. Smart use of ICT gives you better shore-sea collaboration and the best possible business flow. It lowers cost, improves vessel and environmental performance – while at the same time helping you meet ever-increasing customer expectations.
In essence, ICT creates the competitive advantage you need to sustain your business in a global market.
In order to provide this strategic business value, the ICT systems, in turn, rely on internet access. Reliably exchanging business-critical information between ship and shore on a day-to-day basis is not possible without reliable internet connection as a facilitator, enabled by integrating ship systems with onshore ones.
Read more: ICT solutions bring ship and shore closer
Ms Moan holds a Bachelor Degree in International Marketing and Management from BI. After a short stint in the marketing industry, she came aboard Dualog in early 2000. From the very beginning, she has worked closely with the customers, focusing on enhancing the customer experience through all touchpoints. Currently, Ms Moan is the Chief Operating Officer of Dualog where she oversees and implements the organisation’s strategy and mission statement within the organisation. Her responsibility spans maintaining and monitoring the operating environment to ensure that staffing levels, expectations and motivations are in place to fulfil organisational requirements, as well as ensure that sales, marketing, and support succeed.