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Big data is hope for shipping

The ship management industry has been subject to profound changes in recent years. One of the most important challenges, which, at the same time, is an opportunity to optimize processes related to ship management, is digitized management and its integral processes that provide nearly unlimited possibilities for collecting data. So-called “big data” collections, which, when properly analysed, can be used to identify previously undetectable interrelations, are more and more often used in ship management. Big data is a term which is commonly used now. According to the most general definition big data means a vast and diversified number of digital data collections. Although big data technologies are currently applied in maritime shipping, it is to be assumed that it will an increasing trend and new solutions are just a matter of time.

How can ship management benefit from big data? It will be even easier than it has been so far to optimize routes and supply chain as developed analysis techniques can be used for data concerning units’ courses in order to achieve the best strategy related to the order of ports of destination on various routes. Another advantage is operational efficiency which, thanks to complex data comprising for instance information on ports and route details, enables more effective management of personnel’s time, or identification of possible savings. Using the information analysed thanks to big data will also enable management of potential dangers related both to cooperating parties (it will be possible to identify companies which create credit risk) and shipping safety. Big data also means unlimited insight into current market possibilities, potential competition or promising markets.

In terms of one single vessel – thanks to data from sensors installed on it and advanced analysis methods, it will be possible do apply appropriate measures to determine which parts of such unit require priority treatment with regard to maintenance. Thanks to this, maintenance of a vessel will be planned at an optimum moment, thus, preventing delays, boosting efficiency and reducing time needed to keep the vessel in maintenance mode.

Lost containers are also a considerable problem, which generates costs and a great amount of time spent on looking for causes. A solution to this problem is an analysis of data concerning lost containers and determination of certain regularities or characteristic features of such containers. As a result, similar problems will be reduced in the future and further losses will be prevented. The matter of oil consumption is also considerable – a combination of proper sensors and techniques will make it possible to determine conditions under which a given vessel optimized its oil consumption at maximum efficiency. This, again, may translate into significant, if not huge, savings.

One of the panels at the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia 2018 shall be dedicated to ship management.

Article developed in cooperation with "Namiary na Morze i Handel" magazine.

Phot. source: T. Urbaniak/Port of Gdynia Authority S.A.

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