The maritime industry is in the midst of transformation. Today’s owners, managers, and crew are faced with increased economic pressure, staffing shortages, and geopolitical instability in various parts of the world while handling 90% of the world’s trade. These are complex, multi-dimensional issues — ones that I believe the right technology can help solve.
I’ve spent ten years on the high seas and ten years working with new technologies in other industries. The more I’ve learned about machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies, the more I realized how much potential it has for applications in the maritime industry, especially when dealing with safety and security.
I recently joined a Safety4Sea panel with Captain Nihad Mhatre, ZEABORN Sea Management; Dr. Maurizio Pilu, Safetytech Accelerator; and Colin Gillespie, Director of Loss Prevention at North P&I, to discuss the impact of emerging technology on the maritime industry and how it paves the way for a safer maritime future.
Read on for a recap of the webinar, or watch it in full now:
How Technology Addresses Key Maritime Safety Concerns
Ensuring crew members, cargo, and the ship makes it from Point A to Point B safely remains a challenge, particularly with onboard accidents and incidents, establishing safety protocols as a fleet, and dealing with geopolitical instability. While there are plenty of applications for emerging technology, three use cases stand out as the most impactful:
- Early Detection
In emergency situations, the span of a few seconds or minutes makes a difference. The last few years have seen an increase in onboard fires, as an example, which now represent one of the top causes of all ship losses. Take the Felicity Ace fire, which made headlines after firefighters worked to tame a blaze for more than two weeks before sinking with $400 million of luxury vehicles onboard.
“One problem we’re seeing is fires stemming from things like misdeclared cargo on container ships. Our vessels aren’t built or designed to transport electric and alternative fuel vehicles, which has created several issues, and we’re not ready to fight these kinds of fires. So there are lots of companies coming into that space to help with remote control, early detection, extinguishing, and general fire safety.” – Colin Gillespie, Director of Loss Prevention at North P&I
That’s exactly why we created Visual Fleet Management at ShipIn. In an emergency scenario like this one, ShipIn’s network of AI-powered cameras would have detected smoke on the cargo deck immediately, alerting both the bridge and management on shore and automatically starting evacuation and emergency protocols, saving precious minutes for both safety of crew and cargo.
- Accident Awareness and Personal Safety
No crew member gets up in the morning and says, “Today is a great day to get injured.”
Your crew members are hard working, motivated seafarers working in extremely challenging conditions. Yet the standard practice when an accident happens is to blame the individual — and while everyone makes mistakes, in my experience, there are larger systems at work that create unsafe conditions. Larger ships, smaller crews, and lack of oversight all play a role.
“Technology can help tremendously with human error and human-related risks. We know that 96% of accidents are related one way or another to human error. Computer vision is a great example in spotting dangerous situations and preventing accidents, but it is not the only technology available from other sectors that can help. We have wearables, we have voice-to-text, and other technologies to help correct avoidable mistakes that inevitably happen on board.” – Dr. Maurizio Pilu, Safetytech Accelerator
Should an incident occur, it can be impossible to know what happened — and more importantly, why it happened, so you can prevent its occurrence in the future. Without complete visibility that technology like ShipIn’s network of AI-enabled cameras provide, superintendents and fleet directors cannot effectively assist seafarers in identifying hazards, removing obstacles, or gather enough information to perform root-cause analyses and create processes that could prevent future occurrences.
- Ship-to-Shore Collaboration
When ships leave port today, they become a floating black box. It’s up to owners and managers to give crew members the tools they need to get their jobs done safely and effectively, and that’s where technology can play a key role. Visual technology provides a source of truth in key areas on board, like the bridge, engineering room, cargo bays, and more, so both crew members and management understand what’s going on and how to improve.
“Previously, someone from our office would be able to go to our ships and see for themselves what is going on and what could be improved. But the pandemic stopped that practice, and there is a real disconnect between our office and the ship. The lack of oversight needs to be corrected, and that is a place where technology can help with monitoring systems, automatic data collection, and more digitalization can unburden the crew from mundane tasks and improve their productivity at the same time, while giving us more oversight.” – Captain Nihad Mhatre, ZEABORN Sea Management
Without this technology, already-busy crew members must complete multiple logs and send individual communications to multiple stakeholders. But it could be so much easier. ShipIn’s Visual Fleet Management automates mundane tasks and reduces the burden on crew members by seamlessly distributing information across your entire organization.
Create a Safer Maritime Future with ShipIn
Designed with ship managers and seafarers in mind, ShipIn allows your team to:
- Continuously surface relevant on-board operational incidents for early hazard detection
- Provide visibility to low-traffic areas of the vessel
- Remote guidance and ship-to-shore collaboration
- Automatic logging and reduction of administrative work
- Best practices and assessment for crew competency across fleets
See how ShipIn can help you build a safer maritime future.