Osher Perry, ShipIn’s CEO and Co-Founder, on how AI-powered visual analytics are making seafarers’ jobs easier, safer and more secure
I’m often asked about the financial benefits of ShipIn’s FleetVision™ platform. By proactively alerting shipowners, managers and seafarers to onboard events and risks in real time, our customers have found that they can reduce operational losses by 40% and increase vessel productivity by 8%.
However, the benefits of our AI-powered visual analytics extend beyond providing commercial advantages and improved vessel operating expenses. FleetVision™ makes the job of seafarers easier, safer and more secure. The platform alerts crew onboard and teams ashore to safety hazards, operational anomalies, machinery concerns, and external risks such as piracy, malpractice by surveyors, stowaways, and drug smuggling.
Traditional maritime CCTV can generate up to 10,000 hours of footage per vessel per month. No one watches that footage live – it’s traditionally only used retroactively to determine the cause of an incident that has already occurred. We translate that under-utilised resource into real-time intelligence that delivers results for the social component of ESG – the way companies interact with their employees and the communities in which they operate.
I’ve spent 10 years of my working life at sea as a navigator and deck officer, so FleetVision™ has been developed by seafarers for seafarers, and it has been well received. We recently brought in one of the largest container liners in the world to the platform, and in the process, we surveyed the crew of 40 of their vessels. We asked them two questions: Do you see value in visual analytics, and do you want this on board? 39 out of 40 vessel crew said “yes, most definitely.”
When we deployed the system, we supplied each ship with spare cameras for the crew to install at locations of their choice. They often asked for more to give themselves greater visibility when planning and undertaking their daily tasks. With larger vessels, and reduced crew sizes, additional cameras in less trafficked areas of the ship provide an extra pair of eyes. This provides much needed flexibility for already stretched seafarers.
A commonly cited statistic is that 96% of at-sea incidents are attributed to human error. However, we keep highlighting the fact that no one is getting injured in malice. Meaning, with full insight and improved data, mistakes can often be correctly reattributed to conditions, system designs, protocols and processes. Ship operators can then work with crew to prevent incidents from reoccurring, improving their own performance and governance while also offering stakeholders and the wider community true accountability.
A tanker company achieved this when it partnered with ShipIn and deployed FleetVision™ onboard its vessel. Immediately after the deployment, the system automatically detected a number of lapses in the bridge watchkeeping practices and generated alerts for an unattended bridge. The Master briefed his bridge team on the importance of maintaining a proper lookout. Since then, no anomalies have been detected, confirming the effectiveness of the corrective actions taken by the Master. This resulted in significant improvement in navigational practices onboard and improved the safety of the vessel.
Building a culture of safety involves adhering to protocols that can feel mundane, like wearing hard hats in certain areas of the ship. With a visual fleet management system, shoreside management and onboard leadership teams gain the visibility they need to ensure that day-to-day operations are conducted as planned and trained.
ShipIn can help with the decriminalization of seafarers by providing evidence to settle disputes. In a recent contamination dispute involving 1,677 MT of cargo, samples drawn from a chemical tanker were declared off-spec, leading to an US$800,000 claim against the vessel’s owner. The ship’s Master had taken a shoreline sample during loading, which was captured and digitally logged by the ShipIn platform – providing indisputable evidence, accessible in real time, that the vessel was not at fault. The terminal eventually admitted that the cargo was off spec while stored in a shore tank.
These experiences from ShipIn partners demonstrate that the working conditions of crew today can be vastly improved when the social benefits of FleetVision™ are recognized and adopted.