The Key Role Technology Plays in Shipping and the ‘New Normal’

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DeepSea at the Delphi Economic Forum VI

Earlier this month, DeepSea’s CEO and co-founder Roberto Coustas joined senior figures from shipping companies such as Alberta Shipmanagement Ltd., Teo Shipping Corporation, Interunity Group and Navigator Shipping Consultants for the panel ‘Shipping and the New Normal’, where they had the chance to discuss the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sector.

Watch the full panel discussion recording

When asked whether he felt that the pandemic was a factor in bringing technology and shipping closer, Roberto said that adaptability to travel restrictions and remote working has helped shift some preconceived notions about technology, which is significant in a traditionally analogue industry like shipping.

Engineers who previously had the chance to fly out to their vessels to carry out critical monitoring and testing were suddenly unable to do so. As such, travel restrictions ended up being the real catalyst for the accelerated technological adoption that we have seen in the sector.

As Roberto went on to say, “Most companies realised that technology is a necessity, rather than an option. If a shipping company did not have a remote monitoring system in the age of 2020 and COVID-19, the office was in the dark about how their vessels were being operated.”

As a result, we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for vessel monitoring technologies. Considering that shipping transports 90% of global trade, the sector could not afford to cease operations, not even in a pandemic. And the only way for shipping to continue to operate while being physically restricted is through remote vessel monitoring.

By using technology and monitoring their vessels remotely, many shipping companies saw the added benefits of these systems – such as the optimisation of fuel consumption and reduction of costs and CO2 emissions – areas seen as crucial to the industry’s decarbonisation.

Roberto also shared some thoughts about how such smart technologies could help shipping companies maximise their efficiency and profitability, suggesting that “we need to understand that in 2021, and for the years to follow, sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand. The more efficient vessels will get a premium on their rate, resulting in a direct increase in revenue for the shipowner.”

It is apparent that smart shipping technology can do more than just monitor ships remotely. It crucially “helps shipping companies understand the performance of their fleet first, and then make smart decisions and smart investments to their vessels to make them more sustainable – with a minimum economic impact on the company’s cash flow.” It isn’t just about decarbonisation and sustainability – although these remain high priority. It simply makes economic sense to invest in a solution that helps fleets sail for less.

The Delphi Economic Forum VI was an incredible opportunity to join the discussions around how our rapidly changing industry can be supported with investments in technology. DeepSea was proud to join alongside international policymakers and global thinkers from 32 countries, to address emerging challenges and promote sustainable and socially responsible growth policies for Europe, the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Greece.

Get in touch to learn more about DeepSea’s portfolio of vessel performance monitoring tools – such as Cassandra Light – that deliver value, increase savings, and push your fleet in the right direction towards decarbonisation.