A clear strategy as to why data is being collected is essential, said experts during Riviera’s Unleashing the power of data to optimise vessel performance webinar sponsored by Marlink
Shipping is undergoing a data revolution. How the shipping industry arrived at this turning point was explained by World Maritime University associate professor of safety and security Dr Dimitrios Dalaklis during his introduction to the Unleashing the power of data to optimise vessel performance webinar sponsored by Marlink.
Data development is the latest tool in shipping’s new era, Dr Dalaklis said.
“The key term of today is connection and what we need to consider is the cyber, physical machine connection.”
This new era needs effective data analysis, he said, and a regulatory framework and qualified people to make the most of the gains.
In a poll, 70% of webinar attendees replied that the regulatory framework was supporting digitalisation and 30% thought it was hindering digitalisation.
Marlink vice president of maritime IT solutions Tor Skeie noted that the rush to collect data from ships has resulted in a large variation in the data quality. “There are a lot of different protocols, proprietary systems and different providers to manage. This creates a high cost.” he said.
OSM Maritime Group global IT project manager for the maritime & technology group Juan Gil said the first question to ask is “Why data? Not all data is valuable,” he said, “and data without reflection is meaningless.”
As the shipowner on the webinar panel, Steel Ships of Hong Kong chief executive Dr Ranjan Varghese shared a perspective from the standpoint of cost and safety margins.
“The ultimate goal is to keep the lifecycle cost of the vessel as low as possible. At the same time safety is not compromised,” he said.
This led to the question of how soon the industry will see fully connected vessels, which more than 70% of the audience thought would be within the next 10 years. In a related poll, more than 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that shore-based digital ship management will be a reality in next five years.
Ultimately, Dr Dalaklis warned that new skill sets will be required for the industry to adapt to the expected technological changes.
“When we moved from the sail era to the internal combustion engine, we introduced the chief engineer. Now, we are facing an era where the skills for unleashing the power of data are ashore, and now we need them on board. We should consider the IT/data engineer on the ship.”
Mr Skeie’s takeaway was that there needs to be one standardised infrastructure and that data needs to be secure. “We need to look at this as one value chain. If we do not control the infrastructure, we have no control of the data and technology,” he said.
Mr Gil’s main takeaway is that technology is never the limitation on unleashing power from data. “The real challenge is for different stakeholders to collaborate and share the data,” he said.
Dr Varghese pondered that what would make the biggest difference to shipowners’ day-to-day operations is safety and pollution. “One incident, like the Wakashio incident, can wipe out the company altogether. Human errors have to be eliminated at any cost. With the power of data, we can achieve this” he said, and for this reason he favoured development of autonomous ships.
You can view this webinar and all of the webinars from Riviera’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week, in full, in our webinar library.
And you can sign up to attend our upcoming webinars on our events page.
Panellists (left to right): Dr. Dimitrios Dalaklis (WMU), Juan Gil (OSM), Tor Skeie (Marlink), Dr. Ranjan Varghese (Steel Ships)