In your view, has the industry been successful in managing its digital performance? What should be the next steps?

Tor A. Svanes, Managing Director, NAVTOR

In order to access how successful digital performance is, I think firstly, it is important to think all different sectors. For instance, the picture is quite different when it comes to a newbuild offshore vessel in the North Sea and a bulker going down to Far East where we are struggling to deal and send tons of data. What we see coming is what we call as ‘shore based performance’ operation and all companies that we are currently in discussions would like to have an operational role in the ship management; it is actually a trend right now and it has been always a challenge to know what is going on onboard and transfer all information ashore.



Christos Papakis, Administrative Officer, HEMEXPO

The 4th Industrial Revolution is a one-way for the shipping industry which is moving steadily towards smart era. From HEMEXPO perspective, we can confirm that there could be equipment to assist the industry operate safely the next day. Nowadays, we see that more and more companies are embracing the digital transformation in a faster way than previously. This is partly happening because they have realized the benefits of the transition.



Gijsbert de Jong, Marine Marketing & Sales Director, Bureau Veritas

With regards to industry’s digital maturity, although everybody is embracing new opportunities and ideas, I am not so convinced yet that we have found the business model that actual works; we are still at a searching mode. It has to do with the way industry is organized to move forward; without a doubt, shipping is a relative conservative industry.

Furthermore, I think there is an interesting opportunity to do more between established players and start up companies; combining those two, innovative and new ideas can brought into the market. Also, maritime companies will have to learn to collaborate more across the entire ecosystem. We are still working on the silos between shipyards and shipowners which are not willing to exchange data and information. There are still barriers in data sharing which means that people are not yet convinced of the benefits and this change in perspective is a key challenge for our industry in the coming years.


Jamie Jones, Head of Operations, GTMaritime

One of the things we see is that many leaders in the market operate with a digital perspective.  As a technology provider, we strive to bring systems and services that will help to protect our users. As such, we need to make sure there is a holistic approach and that there are layers of protection. People mostly needs to be aware of the risks of the digital age since critical systems are exposed to networks.




Above views were presented during a panel discussion at the award ceremony of first SMART4SEA – EUROPORT Awards, 5 November, Rotterdam.