3 Tech Trends Emerging in Shipping in 2019

New Tech In Shipping

New Tech In Shipping

The shipping industry may have been around for seven centuries now, but that doesn’t mean it’s behind the times – not by a long shot. As with all major enterprises and trade avenues around the world, freight and shipping continue to evolve, expand and adapt as new technologies are developed and made available.

As one of the foremost shipping chandlers in South Africa, the Link team keeps a close eye on the latest freight tech to ensure that we are ready to adapt to new ways of working when required. Here are three of the top trends we have been spotting more and more of late:

Optimisation At The Hand of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making inroads into almost every major industry worth mentioning, and shipping is not the exception to the rule. It’s already started to show valuable applications in terms of port call optimisation. Online communication platforms are in the process of being tested to predict vessel arrival times to increase precision and prevent delays due to bunker activities. It has already been shown to be very effective at the Port of Rotterdam.

Huge Focus On Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is also being beefed up industry-wide, thanks to resolutions such as MSC.428(98) – Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems. This calls for administrations to take care that cyber threats to safety management systems are addressed appropriately.

The Rise of Autonomous Vessels

MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships) are on the brink of becoming a reality! The case for this movement was first tabled at the safety committee meeting of the IMO in the first half of 2018 and again discussed at length at a follow-up meeting in December. It was at this last session that regulatory scoping was approved, with a framework and methodology put in place. More amendments are likely to arise at their meeting this year.

In the meantime, Kongsberg Gruppen (an international technology group that supplies high-technology systems and solutions to customers in the merchant marine, defense, aerospace, offshore oil and gas industries, and renewable and utility industries) has been hard at work developing the Yara Birkeland – the world’s first zero-emission autonomous vehicle. Operation is poised to take effect at the beginning of 2020, with fully autonomous passage planned for 2022.

These are just three of the most prevalent operational shifts that have occurred in the shipping tech landscape throughout the course of the year. We’ll be keeping a close eye on proceedings and will inform you here if anything interesting emerges over the course of the latter half of 2019. Keep an eye on the blog to stay informed of shipping-related trends, tips and news from around the globe.


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