Digital Technologies and Customisable Connectivity For Shipping in 2018

The shipping sector has an unprecedented history rooted in the minds of our civilisation. However, the last few decades splashed very little evolution to say the least.

Meanwhile, the impact of rising freight rates and fluctuating bunker fuel prices are tossing edgy rocks on the shipping sector. In fact, bunker fuel prices are critical obstacles for shipping, representing almost 50-60% of entire carrier costs. To realise cost savings, the only choice is to go digital and embrace the concept of the connected ship.

Empowering ships with digital and customisable connectivity unearths sustainable opportunities and challenges unconventional shipping practices. The adherence of highly sophisticated communications technologies has given 1.5 million seafarers not only the “choice to rejoice” for their careers, but also to stay ahead of labour competition.

Revisiting roles and responsibilities and gearing connectivity towards the needs of ship operators and crew demands

One of today’s problems in the shipping sector relates to recruitment and retention. Social isolation and hectic work schedules are taking a huge toll on ship operators and the way they handle labour turnover.

The International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO – the world’s largest international shipping association – predict that the shipping sector needs to employ nearly 150,000 sailors by 2025. That’s huge! And it’s all about anticipating current and future demand growth.

The key aspect in recruiting embodies strategies that best attract a new generation of natives that grew up with digital technologies and put on show top-notch savviness and capabilities.

So, when it comes to recruitment, what type of crew are ship operators looking for? What type of connectivity do crew expect to find onboard? Can ship operators provide crew with an experience that closely matches what they’re used to when ashore?

There’s no doubt that offshore engineers will have to face similar duties today and in the future. Nonetheless, as shipping gets more data-friendly and connectivity runs the entire show, go-getting programmers are going to be the chosen ones to bring out the most operational efficiencies out of a vessel.

In the same manner, data scientists will also have a more sophisticated access and analysis of relevant data in their quest for service opportunities.  Not only will they be able to react quickly to new market trends, but also tackle hidden, internal challenges and market threats.

New crew will not only converse in English, therefore, but be fluent in other techy languages like Python and Java. The future brings solutions. As soon as those solutions bring immediate value and break unconventional trading operations, revisiting roles and responsibilities will always be a must.

As operational efficiencies are optimised, satellite communications also give room to crew welfare. The always-on nature of connectivity has now become firmly ensconced in the minds of those onshore. Why should the oceans be any different?

Creating an atmosphere for crew to access career training courses, perform efficiently, and Skype their loved ones ashore requires the provision of reliable, high performance, and cost-effective data services.

It’s all about enabling connectivity to take the bull by the horns. Increasing morale, tackling social isolation, and retaining crew to secure competitive advantage have arguably much more visible benefits than any other operational investment.

This new maritime sphere ladles at a rapid speed with exponential data growth and connected vessels for the overall benefit of owners and crew.