2018 has been great for the shipping industry. We have seen some great innovation in the field this year, and we know that 2019 will also have something great in store. We look at a few aspects here:
Ships with onboard systems and fittings are planned to be designed around people/crew, helping them to operate in a proper manner with higher efficiency, reducing the risk of human error and reducing the consequences of any errors that may still occur. This could in part be achieved by incorporating crew feedback into the new building design process.
Working to reduce CO2 emissions
The 2050 IMO targets will require significant changes in hull design, propulsion systems, fuel types and automation, but these will not be enough without an equivalent review and major changes to the current business/commercial models and logistics.
Sulphur cap on January 1, 2020
The introduction of the 0.5 per cent sulphur cap represents a dramatic change for ship operations. A great challenge is that of preparing ships for use of the range of compliant fuels that are yet to be placed on the market, and ensuring that bunkered fuels which may be incompatible with each other are not mixed in the same bunker tanks. 2020 sulphur cap compliance requires significant planning and challenging decisions to be made in relation to fuel system design. Ship owners, class and shipbuilders must jointly define minimum standards on layout, volumes and performance of the onboard fuel systems.
Ship safety to remain paramount
The safety of ships and crew cannot be compromised. Any measures aimed at reducing CO2 emissions must be considered together with any consequential impact on ship safety. Decisions that lead to underpowered ships are unacceptable and, consequently, it was felt that the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee should at an appropriate point in the future address the minimum power required to keep ships safe under SOLAS. In the meantime, IMO should ensure that the minimum power guidelines it has developed remain in place and are fit for purpose.
Technology and Blockchain
We tracked a lot of growth in Blockchain last year, and we see the usage of the blockchain accelerating in 2019. The embrace of this technology within the industry will accelerate as there are multiple developments underway by both established industry players like Maersk and new startups like ODeX India Solutions.
Improving Customer Satisfaction
To keep up with the increased demand for better service, some ocean carriers have started offering premium services. These include guaranteed loadings, faster unloadings, and guaranteed transit times. Maersk, in particular, is strategically working towards being an end-to-end logistics provider. Ocean carriers are attempting more streamlined services and this trend will be seen with all ocean carriers in 2019.
Happy New Year again from team ODeX!!