1. Smart to be the new green

Technology onboard is aiming towards simplifying processes but also driving efficiency. Maritime industry is heading towards a digitalized, data-driven world, with the challenge being to find the right long-term technologies and link terrestrial locations with vessels at sea in an efficient way. According to Navis’ Business Bellwether survey, about 90% of respondents believe their organizations will increase technology spending, including 56% who plan for an increase of 6% or more. Much of this budget will be targeted at the adoption of new technologies to improve operational performance. The ten trends that will prevail in the next five years, according to Mr. Brian Burke, chief of research at Gartner, are:

  1. Automation
  2. Augmented analytics
  3. AI
  4. Digital twin
  5. Empowered edge
  6. Immersive experience
  7. Blockchain
  8. Privacy and ethics
  9. Smart spaces
  10. Quantum computing

2. Connectivity & Convergence gain ground

The maritime world is becoming more and more connected. Generation Z enters maritime for the first time with new expectations, such as the capability of being constantly connected, even at sea. But how will connectivity drive the industry forward? By simplifying communications with ship operators and port authorities and providing crew with unlimited Internet access and the ability to make video calls home from smartphones via Wi-Fi connections.

3. Multifuel shipping to be a reality

We have to work on carbon neutral fuels. For shipping to reach its ultimate emission reduction goals, carbon neutral fuels are absolutely essential and have to be deployed. And that is where we really need to focus on in the years to come

...noted Mr. Eirik Nyhus, Director, Environment, International Regulatory Affairs, DNV GL in an exclusive interview with SAFETY4SEA during SMM 2018.


Indeed, with only one year left for 2020 Sulphur cap enforcement, ship operators are planning what compliance path to take. Scrubbers are said to be fitted on a small portion of the global fleet. Furthermore, a small portion of the global fleet will run on LNG. Therefore, most of shipowners are likely to choose marine gas oil (MGO) or very low sulfur fuel oils (VLSFO).

The new fuels that are available or going to be available, are very low sulfur fuel oils and the ultra-low sulfur fuel oils (ULSFO). These fuels are generally hybrid fuels and there is no standardization for them yet, as the current ISO 8217:2017 standard does not cover hybrid fuels

...said During the first SAFETY4SEA Conference in Singapore, Mr. Sean Hutchings, Chief Technical Officer, Thome Group of Companies.

4. Diverse shipping to be a growing priority

Encouraging greater diversity and inclusion is a critical part of meeting shipping industry’s new talent demands. Diversity is currently moving up the boardroom agenda in most shipping organizations, to make business sense; enhance innovation, personnel satisfaction and overall organizational performance. Last year brought an increase in the number of female Captains, with the appointments of first female captains onboard a Red Funnel’s ferry, AIDAsol and BW LNG’s ‘BW GDF Suez Everett’. Also, Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways appointed the first female First Engineer onboard a merchant ship in Greece. Women have been also promoted in key management positions lately:

  • EMSA Administrative Board nominated Ms. Maja Markovčić Kostelac as next Executive Director
  • Quah Ley Hoon is appointed as Chief Executive of MPA Singapore, from 1 January 2019
  • Sadan Kaptanoglu selected to become BIMCO's first woman President in June 2019

5. Mega Corridors kick off

Recognizing the demand for reliable, low cost transport solutions, there will be greater need for the industry to work on logistics in getting the chains optimized, that includes ports not only ships operating. What is more, 21st century silk road, made up of a “belt” of overland corridors and a maritime “road” of shipping lanes, is expanding in scope.

Furthermore, as long as the ice melts, new routes open to sail out of the Arctic Circle. Navigation along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) could eventually be possible year-round in the years to come, as the climate continues warming.