Maritime leaders are calling on the industry to adopt new technology as a way to capitalise on opportunities and navigate today’s increasingly complex operating environment. This is according to new survey data released today by Sea Asia in the lead up to Sea Asia 2017.
Nine in 10 (94 per cent) of the leaders surveyed believe that it is time for the industry to make the move towards smart shipping while another 81 per cent recognise the importance of Big Data to the future of the shipping and maritime industry. Leaders surveyed also highlighted that new technological developments are crucial in helping industry players transform the way their businesses operate sustainably.
The survey, conducted ahead of Sea Asia 2017, was carried out among maritime leaders to gain insights into key trends and opportunities facing the sector. Trends highlighted in the survey will form part of the discussions that will take place at Sea Asia in April 2017.
Chairman of BW Group and the Singapore Maritime Foundation, Andreas Sohmen-Pao said: “The global economic, political and technological environment is changing, and the maritime industry needs to change with it. As we look for ways to adapt our business model, forums like Sea Asia provide a good opportunity to exchange ideas and find new solutions.”
Group Chairman of Taiwan’s U-Ming Marine Transport Corp, Douglas Hsu, added that the industry is still at the beginning of this journey.
“A small number of industry players are shifting towards smart shipping. However, with technology developing at a fast pace today, it is important that the industry adapts quickly. To encourage this shift, industry players need to realise the benefits of welcoming technological changes in the industry,” he said.
Across the region, the industry is working alongside government and private sector partners to drive the development of technology and innovation to help ensure it is well positioned to capture new opportunities and navigate new trends and challenges.
In Singapore for example, the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore’s Maritime Innovation & Technology (MINT) Fund has been enhanced to include the MINT-PD (Product/Solution Development) scheme. This scheme supports up to 50 per cent of qualifying costs for projects that seek to develop technology products or solutions for the maritime industry.
Through this scheme, companies are encouraged to build on existing research and development (R&D) activities and harness technologies from other industries to develop new innovations for the maritime industry.
Meanwhile China is encouraging the development of smart ships. In May last year, the State Council announced the “Made in China 2025” policy, which highlighted the development of the world’s first smart ship as a priority development.
Managing Director of Precious Shipping Ltd, Khalid Hashim highlighted the benefits smart shipping technology can provide.
“Smart technologies in shipping will help optimise ship operations and improve ship-to-shore communications and vice versa. For example, new technologies can better enable the communication of loading and discharging schedules, and more importantly, giving crew members the opportunity to stay in touch with their loved ones on shore,” said Mr Hashim.
Industry leaders also commented on the importance of harnessing Big Data.