Every year Billions of USD are wasted due to various sources of inefficiency that occur in the Maritime Industry. Inefficiencies such as operation, ship’s and port inefficiency. Maritime industry contributes also to the climate change. Climate change costs us another 130 Billion USD per year. This is a problem that affects everyone because the final cost goes to the consumers and we are all consumers.

In 2017, Wärtsilä introduced her vision “The Smart Marine Ecosystem” which tries to solve this problem. At Wärtsilä we believe that smart technology can bring many opportunities, but one needs to have a holistic, systematic approach that is not only dependent on technology, but also on effective collaboration, partnership and a comprehensive global regulatory framework. Our vision is nothing less than leading the industry transformation towards a Smart Marine Ecosystem

We have identified three main sources of waste.

  • overcapacity
  • fuel efficiency
  • waiting time when entering ports as well as other high traffic areas.

We see four primary forces that can reshape the maritime sector

  • shared capacity for improving fill-rates and reducing unit costs;
  • big data analytics for optimizing operations which is actually related to digitalization;
  • smart vessels for automated, optimized processes and performance management;
  • automated ports for better port operations.

The Smart Marine Ecosystem is about the efficient use of resources, least climate impact and highest safety. Based on available data and analytics received from installations – and combined with information, for example, on route, speed and weather – this holistic view helps in preventing failures and optimizing vessel operations. The Smart Marine Ecosystem can be viewed as a transactional platform orchestrated by Wärtsilä, for the purpose of driving value and optimization both for our customers and society.

Our strong product and solutions offering (the widest in the marine industry), wide installed base and marine know-how presents us with a unique platform for taking the next step. Together with our customers and other industry players, we want to develop a path towards a Smart Marine Ecosystem. Building on our strong existing portfolio, we will continue developing our products and add further competences, in order to remain successful.

How we implement our vision

Some examples of how implement our vision are:

  1. Hybrid systems

The hybrid systems have been lately developed due to the improvement of the battery technology. Over the last 10 years the battery prices have been dropped to 1/3, their weight and volume have also been reduced significantly. We have implemented several hybrid projects such as:

  • MF FOLGEFONN has been retrofitted in terms of having all types of electrical propulsion solutions in one single vessel; it can be run in conventional diesel electric mode, in hybrid electrical mode with energy storage, and in full electrical mode with energy storage and virtual generators (island mode). The result was to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The ship has also some other innovative features such as wireless charging system, autodocking capability and 2 months ago we tested our autonomous dock to dock system.
  • PSV Viking Princess has been retrofitted in a way to run on a combination of a battery pack for energy storage and three LNG-fueled Wärtsilä engines. The new energy storage solution provides balancing energy to cover the demand peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. The fuel saving has been reduced to approximately 15–20 percent per year.
  • The North Sea Giant, one of the world's largest and most advanced subsea construction vessels, has been fitted with an energy storage system that reduces the vessel's energy consumption, operating costs and exhaust emissions.
  • Hybrid systems can also be used in the power generation of any conventional merchant vessel. Our studies have indicated that in this way, we can achieve 10% less OPEX and 12% less emissions.
  1. Remote Control Operation

Wärtsilä has taken a further important step towards developing its Smart Marine capabilities by successfully testing the remote control of ship operations. The testing, which involved driving the vessel through a sequence of maneuvers using a combination of Dynamic Positioning (DP) and manual joystick control, was carried out on August 2017 off the North Sea coast of Scotland in collaboration with Gulfmark Offshore, the U.S. based operator who provided the vessel for the project. Although the test vessel was in the North Sea, the remote control navigating was carried out from the Wärtsilä office located in San Diego, California, 8000 km (5000 miles) away.

  1. New Business Models

One example of a new kind of partnership that we are particularly proud of is our recent agreement with Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company. In January 2017, we signed a comprehensive 12-year agreement for cruise ship safety and reliability. The new performance-based cooperation model was planned together with Carnival and provides shared financial incentives and exposure based on outcomes for both companies. This means we share the risk as well as the profit. This extensive agreement is truly unique – covering altogether around 79 vessels. Conclusions based on condition monitoring of the operations will shape the actions needed to ensure safe and reliable operations, maintenance needs and performance improvements. Carnival is able to focus on their core business – providing great holiday experiences to their customers. This extensive agreement is the first of its kind, but we believe this may set a new standard for the whole shipping industry. We have already experienced a wide interest in the concept.

  1. Smart Collaboration

The Project Forward initiative led by Athens-Based Arista Shipping, with Wärtsilä as one of the participants, demonstrates that with LNG as fuel, an advanced hull design, and highly efficient propulsion machinery, it will be possible to meet the IMO’s target for a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030. The efficient propulsion design concept for Project Forward is based on a novel arrangement featuring just two highly efficient Wärtsilä 31DF engines without auxiliary gensets. The project is totally in line with Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision that foresees an era of concept solutions delivering optimal efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability.

  1. Smart Ports

Vessel Traffic Control systems have been lately introduced in the maritime industry in order to optimize the port operations and minimize the ship’s waiting time. Wärtsilä participates in this field with our newly acquired company TRANSAS. TRANSAS Vessel Traffic Management System is designed to effectively manage vessel traffic in ports, harbours and coastal areas. Transas is offering high tech solutions that will optimize planning, traffic monitoring, environmental protection and coastal security even in the most demanding situations. Here are our advanced and cost-effective products that are compliant with IMO and IALA maritime traffic security regulation codes.

Work on Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine Ecosystem has already begun, with the company determined to introduce it in a phased manner in collaboration with its partners. At the same time, the focus is also to improve existing solutions so that they are on par with the latest advances in technology.


Above text is an edited version of Mr. Giannis Moraitakis’ presentation during the 2019 SMART4SEA Conference.

View his presentation herebelow:

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.

About Giannis Moraitakis, E&A Business and Sales Development, Wärtsilä Greece

Mr Moraitakis was born in Athens in 1967. He studied Marine Engineering in the Hellenic Naval Academy. He continued his studies in the National Technical University of Athens in the School of Electrical Engineering & Computer science and later he received a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School of USA. He has served as an officer in the Hellenic Navy for 29 years, in various positions such as engineer, electronic and chief engineer officer onboard frigates, director of electrical and electronic systems, director of Surface New-Building projects. In 2014, he resigned from the Navy with the rank of Commodore and worked as a technical manager in the NEARCHOS ship-management company. He joined Wartsila in 2018 in the position of Electrical & Automation Business and Sales Development Manager.