Technology has disrupted almost every industry in the world and the shipping and boats industry is no different. Innovations have always been a part of this industry, all aiming for faster, safer and recreational designs.
A rise in trade and commerce has led to an increase in demand for larger ships and containers. There has been a surge in the number of cruise ships being manufactured too. This in turn has fueled a demand for better run, fuel efficient and safer technology for maritime vessels. Also technological advancements have propelled the industry to move toward better experiences both at the docks and in the waters. Furthermore, stringent emission rules and environment factors are forcing the shipping industry to adopt smarter and efficient technologies to stay competitive.
Anyone in the maritime business needs to watch out for these trends to stay ahead in the business:
With stringent emission norms, most ships and boats are turning to LNG (liquified natural gas) or hybrid fuel models ( diesel cum electric or battery pack models).
Smart marine ecosystems
The need of the hour is for port operations to become more integrated. Tugs at the quayside can better track the arrivals and departures of ships with tracking systems. This means that tugs and ship movements along the port will be better managed and optimised according to the facilities and conditions available.
In the shipping business maneuvering has gone digital with all controls connected through a touchscreen. This makes boat maintenance easier compared to manual mechanics.
As with automobiles, auto piloted boats and ships are not far off. In China, a logistics firm has already gone into autonomous shipping development for the state. Autonomous shipping technology will soon cross over to civilian use.
AR can deliver all kinds of information on ship bridges, and on smaller boats and tugs it can relay positional data and help in maneuvering and related activities and even warn of situational hazards. It can be also used as a training module by simulating real life events. It can be used to monitor operations and give viable solutions for difficult steerings. According to an executive of an AR development firm “The realm of augmented tools take us in new directions and open more doors to give operators advantages over real life. For example, AR tools could indicate stresses on lifting and mooring lines.”
Internet of Things (IoT)
Smart connectivity through sensors has become a way of life for maintenance. Sensors can be used for tracking and keeping an eye on the wear and tear of machineries. Parameters can be constantly measured and collected data can be sent to a central analytical unit for inputs on machine performance and maintenance updates. Such data analysis can lead to optimal utilization of resources and reduce costs (fuel and machine use), Tug and stowing operators can use the tech to track assets and improve operations on all waterways.