Over the past 2 to 3 decades, the world has undergone a remarkable digital transformation with technological inventions happening one by one.
The shipping industry, just like any other industry, has made use of these technological advancements to digitize their processes.
Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, data science and other technological developments have made marine operations more efficient, making things easier for companies as well as customers across the world.
To maximize the benefits that come with these transformations, shipping technical services providers have to digitize every link in the shipping chain at the basic levels which is definitely not an easy process.
Technology not only comes with benefits for ship services, but also risks which we shall discuss in this article.
How Does the Shipping Industry Benefit From the Technological Transformation?
1. It Reduces Burdens by Taking up Manual Functions
One of the biggest advantages of the technological revolution that the shipping industry has undergone is increasing the efficiency of marine operations.
Digital systems allow companies to streamline processes and eliminate the need to verify each step manually.
Digitization help increase fuel efficiency of vessels, manage their speed, and prevent delays at the port.
Vessel operators make use of data science to conduct operations in the most time and cost-effective manner. Technology also lets them get to know about trends by analysing the data that they have generated.
Minimization of financial risks by making decisions using accurately processed data is another advantage of the technological transformation that the industry is facing.
Increased business efficiency leads to an increase in productivity and reduces the cost of running business operations.
So much of paper work in your shipping services could be eliminated by opting for a digital alternative, thus leading to increased economic savings.
2. New Technologies Help Meet Environmental Regulations
It is easier to meet environmental regulations by introducing sensors into the vessel operators’ fleet. You can get access to important information like the fuel consumption of the vessel, the engine performance, and rate of pollution through these sensors.
Thus, you can meet environmental regulations easily and confidently with the insights that you get from such technological capabilities.
It also helps influence the public perception about shipping services in a positive way. The shipping industry is widely known for being responsible for global greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollutions.
Thus introducing new modes of digital technology like these sensors will help increase the efficiency and safety of vessels and will also reduce pollution, leading to a better public perception.
3. Easy to Test New Vessels
Technology has made it possible for the shipping industry to make use of models called digital twins that aid in research. A digital twin ship is a virtual copy of a vessel that is created through continuous research and data collection.
You can virtually recreate the specifications and processes that a vessel undergoes to understand its behaviour in specific situations and provide better ship services.
You can easily see how safe a new technology is, or assess the behaviour of your vessel without much human or financial consequences.
Also, compare between vessels and evaluate their systems and practices with the concept of the digital twin and come up with opportunities for improvement in your shipping services.
What are the Negative Effects of Technology in the Shipping Industry?
Although technology is often seen to increase the convenience and efficiency of operations, it is also important to acknowledge the negative side of the technological revolution that has been taking place in the marine industry.
1. Training is Required to Keep Up With the Use of Technology
One of the biggest concerns is how the vessels can be updated. Apart from that, the vessel crew will also require additional training to keep up with the fast-paced technological advancement.
Most crewmen already undergo extensive training and development programmes to deliver high quality ship technical services.
Now, they will also have to learn about the operation and management of new digital changes which can lead to money and time burdens.
2. It is Difficult to Remain Up to Date With Rapid Technological Advances
Rapid advances can be overwhelming even for tech savvy individuals. The technological transformation that is happening with shipping technical services is an ongoing process that requires you to stay up to date with the latest software and hardware.
You will have to spend lot of time to understand which technologies and developments are required and are worth investing in for your business. But this can be difficult as technology develops rapidly which can be tough to keep up with.
By the time you have understood and decided which technologies are suitable for your shipping services, new applications with more benefits can show up.
3. Not Many People Would Have the Needed Data Science Know-How
The technological advancements that come up in the shipping industry is only of value if there is enough talent to make use of them.
Shipping companies find it difficult to attract and retain engineers and scientists who can implement new algorithms and models.
Therefore, the inability to attract high-quality employees who can make use of the rapid technological advances to enhance profitability is another challenge that comes with using the latest technologies.
4. Challenges That Come With Data Security
One of the reasons for the slow digitization in the shipping industry is because companies do not trust organisations that share confidential data.
It is a highly competitive field which leads them to be mistrustful and more conscious about companies that can steal their data.
Technologies like blockchain is widely used in this industry as it helps with sharing sensitive data. It uses a string of unique characters to link transactions and secure information.
There are also raising concerns about systems being hacked or tampered which is a major trouble for vessel operators.
The technological revolution in shipping technical services definitely does help increase the profitability and efficiency of businesses across the globe.
Although there are so many risks that accompany it, companies can invest time and money into understanding how they can resolve them and maximize the benefits that come with digitization.