Safety4Sea: Digitalization of shipping industry is imminent

23/01/20170 CommentsSEO SEO
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The Safety4Sea website conducted the survey ‘Share your Smart Shipping Insights’ to get the industry’s perception about the future of smart shipping and the challenges of this new era.

The project took place during Q4 2016 and according to Safety4Sea  “assessed how maritime stakeholders have realized the current and future smart shipping challenges and have established the nature of ECDIS & e-Navigation, Cyber Safety/ Cyber Security, Autonomous Shipping and Future Trends within shipping”.

The results of the survey showed that industry stakeholders consider digitalization as an imminent factor for shipping’s future with the implementation of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) and Big Data. However, some of the main challenges that come with them: crew training and raise cyber awareness.

Apostolos Belokas, Managing Editor, Safety4Sea commented:

‘’The survey identifies critical areas that must be addressed with respect to the digitization of shipping. The start has already been made and the pathway to smart era does involve many challenges. In any case, industry has to be cautious to assure safety of life, assets and environment are adequately addressed. “

Here the survey key findings:

  • The five top rated Smart Shipping Challenges are: Cyber Security (40.6%), Crew Training using new technologies and software i.e. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality (33.0%), Energy Management & Emissions Monitoring (32.1%), E-Navigation (31.1%) and ECDIS (29.2%)
  • The majority of industry stakeholders (59,6%) argue that the inadequate crew training & familiarization with the ECDIS Model/ Type are inherent to full implementation of ECDIS, however few of them (5.4%) believe that ECDIS malfunctions have affected their operations.
  • Only 19.8% have been victims of cyber-attack, considering the impact for the company insignificant (<$ 1,000) to minor ($ 3,000 – $ 10,000)
  • The majority of the participants (78.8%) doesn’t consider the industry as safe and secure to cyber risks however they acknowledge that progress has been made and awareness is being built
  • The most vulnerable to cyber threats systems onboard are: Positioning systems (56.9%), ECDIS (50.0%), Engine Control and Monitoring Systems (28.4%) and GMDSS (22.5%). Shipping companies show their preference to firewalls (86.9%), best practice protocols (49.5%) and intrusion detection/ prevention system (44.4%) to protect against cyber-attacks. Similar measures apply to their ships as well: firewalls (76.6%), best practice protocols (47.9%) and intrusion detection/ prevention system (29.8%).
  • 5% of the participants believe that autonomous shipping will become a reality for the industry beyond 2030. However, there are 17.0% who think the industry is far away from this vision as human element is considered of paramount importance for shipping.
  • Autonomous shipping may be implemented successfully at the following segments: short sea/ inland navigation (29.8%); containers (24.0%) and offshore activities (13.5%). The top three risks associated with the use of unmanned ships include: Navigational Risks i.e. Collision, Grounding (61.3%), cyber safety/ cyber security (51.9%) and loss of communication (46.2%)


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