Data is driving all-sector refocus for maritime
Actionable data is becoming the bedrock for many areas of shipping, a Rightship seminar has been told. The human element remains key, whether on board ship, in a shipyard, or in an insurer’s office
A thought leadership seminar hosted in London this week by Rightship and the UK P&I Club learnt that finding a shipyard whose newbuildings meet energy efficiency criteria is vital to financiers and charterers, and therefore to shipowners.
SHIPPING is becoming safer — there are fewer accidents and incidents than in the past.
However, claims involved are now higher in value than before, so the gap between premium income and pay-out has become a real concern for insurers. For this reason, it makes sense to use data to identify where claims are most likely to occur and focus attention on these areas.
Meanwhile, there is similar concern about the diminishing number of cadets training to become seafarers. Where there are cadets, there are no berths on board ships to enable them to train. The ageing demographic is worrying. For this reason, it makes sense to use data to remove the repetitive tasks, so seafarer skills can be targeted where they are most needed.
At the same time, shipyard workforces are growing older: highly skilled engineers are retiring but the cohort of new recruits does not have the experience to replace them. For this reason, it makes sense to use data to enable autonomous technology in ship construction wherever possible.
Data and analysis of that data, the information and insight this offers, and the use of data-driven technology have very quickly become the bedrock of our industry.
The headlines are revealing. At a Rightship seminar in London this week, UK P&I Club’s head of loss prevention, Stuart Edmonston, disclosed that while 24% of the club’s book is bulk carriers, these ships represent 59% of the Port State Control detentions; tankers make up 26% of the book, but only 2% of inspections. These are simple stats that offers actionable insight.
When talking about Rightship’s greenhouse gas rating scale, the company’s analysis showed that only one Japanese shipyard is building A-rated newcastlemax bulkers (around 200,000 dwt) — which must have made the seminar at Bari-Ship interesting to attend.
This insight is important for the discussion about decarbonisation of shipping. With little more than a single ship’s lifecycle to go before 2050, said Rightship’s sustainability manager Kris Fumberger, finding a shipyard that meets stringent emissions-reduction targets will matter for shipowners because it will matter to financiers and to charterers. Building the cheapest ship will no longer give competitive advantage in the 2040s.
Even so, data analytics brings dilemmas of its own.
“What does the Internet of Things mean for the insurer?” asked Rightship’s director of strategy Wayne Blumenthal. “If insurer sees [via IoT] that the engine is running hot, does he wait for it to blow up, or advise the chief engineer that the risk is growing?”
When it comes to risk, whose self-interest is highest: the owner of the ship, the operator of the ship, or the owner of the cargo? Where should insurers focus their energy and effort?
The answer, all three speakers agreed, is that the human element remains a key consideration.
When a P&I club’s risk assessor visits an insured vessel in port, it will be to help avoid claims. When an incident occurs, it’s no value producing a 30-page report because no one will read it: pick out the lessons to be learnt and place them all on a single page. When risks are identified and recommendations taken onboard, the ship becomes safer for the seafarers, and safer for their families.
So, the drivers for risk management — and also for data-driven, analytics-based technology — should not be primarily economic, but human.
Clever technology working with skilled and experienced professionals will bring improved levels of safety, lower levels of emissions, and higher revenues than we see now.