SAFETY4SEA: What are currently the biggest smart challenges in the shipping industry from your perspective?
Michel van Roozendaal : I consider a great initiative that IMO has committed to lower GHG by 50% by 2050. Ships are currently already relatively fuel-efficient, but in order to reach that dramatic reduction of GHG, you need to bring much more intelligence to the industry, avoid duplication, avoid waste, etc. and this is something that we are going to contribute to. I think the biggest challenge is to take away inefficiencies and together with our sister organization Colmar, we are basically having a focus on the whole cargo chain; what we are doing is using data in order to eliminate waste and make the whole industry more efficient.
S4S: Do you have any new developments that you would like to share with the rest of the industry?
MVR: One of the most exciting developments we are launching is our autonomous crane. We have developed the first autonomous crane, where you don’t need a crane driver. MacGregor is involved in several autonomous projects around autonomous vessels which are an important development in order to bring more technology and safety to the industry. But what sense does an autonomous vessel make if all this sub-equipment and, in particular, the cargo handling equipment, like cranes, would still need crane operators? So in order to enable the industry on its journey to autonomous vessels, we have developed these autonomous cranes. They are used now for the first launch customers, but we have developed these with our own investment and we believe that there is much more to come in that area.
S4S: If you could change one thing about the shipping industry, what would it be and why?
MVR: I think the industry is still acting as if every new initiative is the first one ever. More ships are being built as prototypes and perhaps there is one or two copies, but even two copies are slightly different. So each time we are trying to improvise. We need to bring in much more technology into this industry and that is also where, for example, the initiatives like autonomous cranes are coming in. And then ships become much more automated, high-technology and therefore you can also bring in series of ships which have all the same technology. And I think that this is really what we’d like to do: Bring in much more technologies into the maritime sector.
MacGregor is committed to the cargo side of the maritime industry and that is where we will contribute and touch every second vessel in the ocean with some system or the other. After all, in many cases, the cargo is why the ship is sailing and propulsion is basically the same, irrespective of whether it is a cruise ship or container ship, but our solutions are specific to the mission of the vessel and that is why we work with owners and operators directly to bring efficiency to the industry.
S4S: What is your key message to your existing and prospective clients?
MVR: The industry is really going through a rough time, but we know that this industry is very cyclical. We have been in this business for almost 250 years. MacGregor and Cargotec are completely dedicated to this industry and we will work together with owners and operators to find solution and make our costumers more competitive, eliminate waste, and ultimately bring more innovation to this industry.
View herebelow the video interview with Michel van Roozendaal, President, MacGregor, at SMM 2018, September 4-7, Hamburg, Germany:
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.