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Why Real-Time Data Matters to the Maritime Industry

In the face of the current 4th industrial revolution, it is interesting to take a look what changes are taking place in the virtual space of maritime transport. This month, we wanted to share with you an article, originally posted on the Sofar Ocean website, dealing with real-time data and why it matters to the maritime industry and its on-shore and off-shore actors. 

 

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This article originally appeared on the Sofar Ocean website

Over 90% of the world’s trade is in the hands of the international maritime shipping industry. Every year, it moves more than USD 4 trillion of goods. For shipping companies, there’s a lot of pressure to remain on schedule, protect the cargo ship and crew, and ensure profitability. It is not an easy task.
This interactive map of the world’s main shipping routes provides a glimpse of the industry’s complexity. 90,000 vessels cross paths as they transport goods from one continent to another on a daily basis.

 

The map was created by London-based data visualisation studio Kiln and the UCL Energy Institute

It’s clear from this map that the maritime industry involves an intricate system of transportation. To complicate things, ports and vessels are also subject to the forces of nature, which are becoming harder and harder to predict. With all of these obstacles in the way, shipping companies must be able to adapt to changing situations and act fast. This is where Sofar Ocean comes in. We believe that with real-time big data analytics, however, the maritime industry can better navigate these unexpected challenges.

What is Real-Time Big Data?

Big data is a field that extracts and analyses data from data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software. Real-time capabilities mean that those insights are delivered immediately after collection.

How does Real-Time Big Data Help the Maritime Industry?

Maritime companies generate data from different sources and in several formats. Traditionally, these insights are fixed, siloed, and inconsistent. Actioning this information is time-consuming and a major complication point for shipping companies.

With big data tools, this inflow of data is collated and organised in a cloud-based system. This system then analyses and extrapolates the relevant data in real-time, which promotes better decision making. Nothing is left to intuition or chance—therewith unlocking opportunities to drive greater efficiencies.

Efficient Maritime Operations and Logistics

Overall operations and logistics, for example, become much more efficient with real-time data. Companies can obtain information through GPS and RFID tags to help locate containers and ships immediately. Data technology also helps synchronise communication to manage ship arrivals, berthings, and departures safely and efficiently. And in case of an emergency, non-availability of the labour, or terminal allocations, real-time data helps ships plan their routes and speeds accordingly.

Due to climate change, this ability to pivot has never been so relevant. Although the interactive map above demonstrates that the global maritime industry is a well-oiled machine, the ocean’s climate—currents, waves, and wind—are more unpredictable than ever. Real-time data streamlines decision making and supports ad hoc navigation to ensure companies maximise returns.

Fuel-efficient routing

By having access to real-time sea state observations—currents, waves, and swell—vessel operators can re-route according to current ocean and weather conditions while optimising fuel efficiency. Inefficient weather routing oftentimes leads to the increased time spent at sea, which not only disrupts and delays the supply chain but can also increase fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

In addition to increasing voyage earnings, fuel-efficient routing also reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, supporting the latest GHG reduction strategy developed in 2018 by the International Maritime Organization. The initial strategy envisages that the total annual GHG emissions from international shipping should be reduced by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. What does 50% look like? The IMO calculated that vessels released 1.12 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide the year before, in 2007. So we can guess that emissions need to be reduced by 560 million metric tons. That’s equivalent to emissions from 102 million cars!

So are we saying that real-time data helps reduce fuel costs and GHG emissions? Yes, yes we are. Not a bad day at the office.

Is Real-Time Big Data Safe From Cyber Threats?

We hear this question a lot, and rightly so. The convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) onboard ships—and their connection to the internet—creates an increased attack surface that requires greater cyber risk management.

On the IT side, the chances of cyberattacks can be mitigated through proper implementation of encryption techniques like blockchain technology. From an operational standpoint, IMO maintains that effective cyber risk management should start at the senior management level—embedding a culture of cyber risk awareness into all levels and departments of an organisation. You can read more about this in BIMCO’s Guidelines on Cybersecurity Onboard Ships.

Full Speed Ahead for the Maritime Industry

Is it possible that the maritime industry can become bigger and better? More lucrative, while emitting less GHG emissions? We believe so.

Knowledge is power. By implementing real-time insights in daily operations, shipping companies are well-positioned to navigate anything that comes their way. And how this year has gone, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an edge on the unexpected.

Curious what real-time data looks like? Take a peek at Sofar Ocean’s publicly available weather network dashboard, which offers real-time open-ocean marine weather observation data from over 500 weather sensors worldwide!

This article was originally posted on Sofar Ocean

ITS Inauguration - October 2020

G. Caboto Foundation’s Technical Course in Integrated Logistics Management and Shipping Processes to take place

In early October, the ITS G. Caboto’s Foundation has opened the registrations for the Diploma in the Management of Integrated Logistics and Shipping Processes. Following two weeks of an open application period, in the end 29 students were accepted. The majority came from the Lazio region, but with some students traveling from the Liguria and Puglia regions, and some from Sicily.

The applicants will attend a 24-month long course and discover the logistics processes and maritime operations that take place in the Port of Civitavecchia. The course has as an objective to train students in the management of logistical activities in the port-centric supply chain market segment. The graduates will learn to manage shipment processes and any other related logistic activities (warehouse, fittings, intermodal transport, order cycles, etc.) which circle around the management of goods that are imported or exported through a port. They will also analyse the relationship between the port and the unloading or loading area. Moreover, this year particular attention and relevance will be given to digital skills in the application field – as digitisation and the internet of things become more and more important in the transport sector. The training will thus provide the students with the skills for the use of popular application software, aids, equipment and digital tools, and will familiarise them with any technological advances to make them prepared for employment. Each student will also carry out an internship period of 800 hours, in addition to study visits (if they are deemed safe in light of the current global health crisis) and project work at partner companies. Participation in supplementary projects promoted by the project partners will be encouraged as well.

The diploma kicked off with the official inauguration ceremony on the 30th of October 2020. Alongside the candidates and teachers, the ceremony was attended by Francesco Maria di Majo and Luca Lupi from the Port Authority of Civitavecchia; Eduard Rodés and Marco Muci from the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport; and Clemente Borrelli from the G. Caboto Foundation.

The Escola’s Formati al Porto and MOST Italy courses will form part of the 24 month training. For more information about Formati al Porto, you can visit the Escola’s website.

Portugal Launches Huge Maritime Smart Tech Plan

The Portuguese government has announced an initiative aimed at accelerating the creation of smart tech start-ups in the shipping and ports sectors, according to a statement.

Named ‘Bluetech Accelerator – Ports & Shipping 4.0’, the programme is being led by the Minister of the Sea of Portugal and is designed to make the country a world leader in smart technology innovation.

The government has said it has already established a coalition of stakeholders, including shipping groups Portline Group and ETE Group, the ports of Sines and Leixoes and digital and robotics companies Inmarsat and Tekever to identify and finance start-ups in the smart technology and shipping industry.

The chosen start-ups will be announced in the last quarter of 2019, and the government has said it expects other stakeholders in the maritime and port sector to join the initiative.

Speaking about the initiative, Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, said: “The Portuguese port system must be seen as the front line of the implementation of the blue economy based on the operational, energy and environmental innovation of maritime industries, promoting the emergence of new companies.

A recent Port Technology technical paper looked at smart investment in the maritime sector.

“This objective will be possible through the creation of a network of Port Tech Clusters, platforms for accelerating the technological and business innovation of sustainable blue port-based businesses.

“From here will be created new companies that will constitute and reinforce the Port Tech Cluster 4.0, innovation network that will be installed in the national port system focused on the application of industry 4.0 to the maritime-port sector”.

The Port of Sines, a key participant in the scheme, signed an agreement last week with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company to develop a new, next-gen container terminal, a story PTI covered.

Source: Port Technology

Shipping and Logistics Needs Protection from Cyber Threat After Costly Attacks

Following the extremely costly cyber attacks on the Maersk, Clarkson and COSCO operations this year the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has gathered together some heavy hitting stakeholders from the legal and logistics sectors to help in drafting its first ever cyber security clause for the benefit of ship owners and other related freight and shipping interests.

Inga Froysa of chartering specialist Klaveness, Oslo is leading a team which includes Navig8 ship management, marine insurance experts the UK P&I Club and international lawyers HFW. The aim is to produce a clause able to deal with cyber security risks and incidents that might affect the ability of one of the parties to perform their contractual obligations. It will necessitate the parties having plans and procedures in place capable of protecting computer systems and data and of responding immediately to any cyber intrusions.

An affected party will have to inform others immediately to enable them to take counter-measures and it will be drafted to cover a range of stakeholders, not just ship operators but inclusive of a range of third-party service providers, such as brokers and agents. The liability of the parties to each other for claims is limited to an amount agreed during negotiations. A sum of $100,000 will apply if no other amount is inserted.

The range of the clause is twofold, firstly it is aimed at raising the awareness of cyber risks among owners, charterers and brokers. Its main purpose is to ensure contracted parties are prepared for a cyber-incident, have suitable protective and reactive measures and can mitigate any damage swiftly. The new clause is due to be published in May 2019.

In the early stages of development, the drafting team discussed if the clause should also address payment fraud. It was concluded that the risk of this increasingly common fraud is probably best dealt with at a procedural level by companies tightening up their internal payment procedures to require verification of any changes to payment details.

The HFW legal team working on the clause is led by senior associate William MacLachlan and also includes partners Elinor Dautlich and Toby Stephens and associate Henry Clack. William MacLachlan observed:

“As the shipping industry wrestles with how to respond to the cyber threat, this clause aims to lay down a benchmark for cyber security measures and explicitly address the question of liability for a cyber security incident. We are pleased to have been able to support BIMCO, the other members of the drafting sub-committee and the shipping community generally on this important and topical point, and look forward to seeing how it is taken up and implemented by the industry.”

Source: Handy Shipping Guide