- 05. April 2017
Digitalisation is an opportunity for top-quality jobs and more efficient ship operation“Digitalisation is a major opportunity to make ship operation even more efficient and safer as well as creating top-quality jobs in Germany,” explained Alfred Hartman, President of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) on the occasion of the 10th National Maritime Conference in Hamburg on 4 April.
Using the data delivered by hundreds of sensors on board – such as on engine performance and fuel consumption – shipping companies can deploy their vessels more efficiently, identify necessary repairs sooner, plan routes more intelligently and compare performance data. Permanent data exchange between ships, terminals and shipping companies helps to optimise travel speeds and port calls, to spare resources and offer customers greater transparency.
Shipping needs broadband Internet and digital administration
VDR President Hartmann: “Without continuous data transmission between vessels, shipping companies and terminals, numerous digital innovations cannot be used. We need reliable broadband Internet access not only in ports but also on waterways and coastal seas. The public administration also needs a further push towards full digitalisation. Basically, it should be possible for all applications and documents to be sent by electronic channels. Also, data exchange operation must be smooth and standardised.”
Automation on board creates top-quality jobs
“Today, only half as many seafarers work on board maritime vessels as was the case 30 years ago – accompanied by a drastic improvement in safety and transport performance. At the same time, tasks on board have become more sophisticated and challenging. To this end, we need crews of seafarers with excellent training. The more autonomously ships can travel, the more attractive and responsible jobs are also created onshore. We need capable staff to monitor and maintain ships by remote control but also for research and further development of technologies,” said Hartmann.
Maritime know-how means a competitive edge for Germany
“We should understand digitalisation as an opportunity and be open to new developments. While shipping companies aren’t exactly Silicon Valley start-ups, we do know best how to put top-quality shipping and maritime logistics to work. Maritime know-how in the field of shipping is an indispensable element of the strong cluster of the maritime sector, research and development in Germany and a true competitive edge,” said Hartmann.