The Suez Canal is one of the most highly trafficked maritime areas in the world, with an average of 51 ships per day passing through its waterway between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. That traffic has more than doubled since 1975, and it’s a key regional hub for cargo ships carrying everything from textbooks to tennis balls.
On March 23, 2021, after reporting high winds from an incoming sandstorm, the 1300-foot Ever Given ran aground 13 feet from the bank of the canal, where it halted more than $10 billion of global trade per day and caused more than $600 million in ship damages for six days – putting a harsh spotlight on the maritime industry.
It wasn’t until March 29th that salvage company Boskalis, working with canal service provider Leth Agencies, freed the ship.
While an investigation is ongoing, one thing is clear: There’s no way to know what actually went wrong onboard to cause the incident. Was it human error? An equipment malfunction? A consequence of the sandstorm? Failure to follow procedures? Some combination?
Without a clear picture of what happened on the bridge and onboard leading up to the incident, it’s impossible to know exactly what happened and how to prevent such a costly occurrence from happening again. Even though the Ever Given was in sight of land the entire time it traversed the Suez Canal, operationally, we don’t know what truly happened onboard.
The Ever Given remains a floating mystery.
This is exactly why we created our patented Visual Fleet Management platform at ShipIn – to bring visibility to the maritime industry.
What is Visual Fleet Management?
Visual Fleet Management is a new way to understand a complete picture of your ship operations through visual context. Using the platform, you can analyze key insights and action items using artificial intelligence (AI) and communicate continuously between ship and shore.
We created our Visual Fleet Management system by asking ship owners, “What would you want to see and know, if you were able to be on board your ship during a voyage?”
They wanted to understand:
- Did crew reports match activities on board?
- Were safety procedures followed at all times?
- Could we identify and prevent security issues like drug trafficking?
- What caused an incident on board, and could it be prevented in the future?
That’s exactly what Visual Fleet Management can do for your shipping organization. Visual Fleet Management allows you to improve operational efficiencies, strengthen safety protocols, and gives you peace of mind that your cargo, crew, and ship are secure.
How ShipIn’s Visual Fleet Management System Works
ShipIn’s Visual Fleet Management system uses a network of connected cameras placed at key points on board, like the bridge, the engine room, and on deck or in cargo areas, so you can gain visibility into onboard operations with continuous ship-to-shore communication.
What makes ShipIn’s solution different from your standard CCTV, however, is the additional layer of AI. Rather than watch hundreds of hours of footage, our software does it for you, surfacing important moments, trends, or any issues in an all-in-one dashboard that’s easy to understand. This creates a digital logbook of routine procedures and maintenance, real-time hazard detection, and provides benchmarks for the rest of your fleet.
ShipIn’s AI learns as it processes this footage, so as time goes on, it becomes more attuned to the rhythms of your operational needs. That way, shipowners, captains, and crew can take appropriate action to prevent further damage, initiate safety protocols, or receive updates as needed.
See How ShipIn Can Help Your Fleet
Only time will tell what exactly caused the Ever Given to run aground. But without Visual Fleet Management onboard, it’s impossible to know the full chain of events that led to the incident. Instead, investigators will have to piece together testimony from crew members, shore authorities, and eyewitnesses — relying on notoriously unreliable human memory.
Don’t let your million-dollar investment stay a black box. The Ever Given made international headlines, but truthfully, it was just one of many incidents that occur every year in the maritime industry. In 2020 alone, ships reported 2,703 incidents around the world, from onboard fires to navigational mishaps.
With ShipIn, owners, operators, and seafarers have advanced digital tools at their fingertips for a safer and more productive voyage. Communicate more frequently with your teams, operate more efficiently, and mitigate security risks and incidents before they occur. Learn more how ShipIn can help your shipping organization today.