SAFETY4SEA Team met Martin Penney, Sales and Marketing Director, BMT Smart at Posidonia 2016, June 6-10, Metropolitan Expo, Athens for an interview on how Big Data may benefit vessel performance. You may view video interview on YouTube
Q1 What are currently the biggest safety/environmental challenges in shipping?
One of the challenges in shipping is that you cannot control your revenue as the freight rates are set by the market. The one that you can control is your operational costs. Solutions like BMT Smart help to drive down these operational costs by using data to make smarter decisions whether they refer to hull cleanings, engine maintenance, utilization of the fleet and potentially to allow superintendents who are getting harder to find people to go to sea, to manage more vessels within a fleet.
Q2 How new environmental regulations will impact ship-owners and the market in general?
I think the new regulations, particularly the MRV regulations that are coming out from the EU and the IMO, are real benefit to shipping because they force ship-owners to understand a great detail of what their vessels are doing. They have two choices; They can do a lot of their work manually to meet the requirements or they can invest in a system which will pay for itself very quickly because it won’t need more people, it would be fully automated and in the same time, for the same cost, they will get a performance management system as by using same data, the system is able to analyze it all. Therefore, all you need is to add a little bit extra of data, it is not just collecting that data. For me it is a real trigger to invest in this kind of signal system because ships and companies need that data for sure. However, this performance system should not be seen as a cost but as a real investment.
Q3 In a world driven by information technology and the Big Data, how can vessel performance help the shipping industry be more transparent and reliable?
I think it can really transform shipping. You only have to look other logistics industries whether that is aviation or even trucking. For example, within trucking you have telematics at the moment which tell you exactly how many times people touch the accelerator, touch the brake, where every truck is at any time, what is on it. Shipping doesn’t have any of these features yet. At the moment shipping relies on reports which are being reported manually per day. Information technology and data driven decisions can really transform shipping. In the end, it is part of the logistics chain and by using data and intelligence derived from that data, can really change the industry and right now that is exactly what in tough times shipping needs.
Q4 New technological solutions are being introduced on board on daily basis. Is the industry ready for the transition to a smart era? How big data can help?
The key thing is using data to drive behavioral change. Collecting data onboard a ship is pointless unless you do something differently as a result of it. It is important that companies ashore do something differently as a result of big data. It’s very much of a buzzword in shipping industry. Big data itself doesn’t do anything; it just adds cost to companies. What transforms shipping companies is using the intelligence glean from that data to make better, quicker and more accurate decisions that will save them money and make them much more profitable businesses in the longer term. It is important the companies to interrogate: ‘’What do you do with that data? What have you done differently today that you didn’t do yesterday as a result of having that information?’’
Q5 What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) to the industry so far ashore and on board?
If you look out the number of ocean going vessels that have some form of data going ashore every day, it is still relatively limited but that gives shipping a massive opportunity, particularly in tough times like these. However, those shipping companies that take the lead and use information to drive better businesses will lead the consolidation of the industry. As everyone knows, the industry is going to eventually consolidate; you can see it happening in the container side and it will happen in other markets as well. For this process, it is critical for the market leaders to use Internet of Things and Big Data in a way that they drive improvements with business.
Q6 What is your key message to your existing and prospective clients?
We do care about to learn what our clients are doing differently by using our systems, what they do today that they couldn’t do before. We work with the operators to really help them drive their business, whether that may be doing more or less hull cleans, propeller cleans; to understand how weather impacts the performance of their vessels. We drive that behavior based on real analytics and not based on that daily report from the vessel. Therefore, we don’t sell hardware, we sell that benefit to drive accurate and critical decisions and we focus on making sure our clients make that change rather than just buying a system.
Above text is an edited article of Martin Penney, Sales and Marketing Director, BMT Smart video interview at Posidonia 2016, June 6-10, Metropolitan Expo, Athens
You may view his video interview by clicking here
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.