In modern maritime industry, IT technologies play a very important role, and their role and importance are constantly increasing. In this publication, we highlight four of the most significant trends. All these processes are closely interrelated. More precisely, it can be said that they represent a single stream of innovations in the maritime industry. At the same time, the introduction of these technologies creates corresponding problems that cannot be solved solely by technical and technological means. Adequate political and legal solutions are needed, the shortage of which is already being felt. So, security issues, especially cybersecurity, the development of the Internet, in particular, the Internet of things, as well as the use of blockchain technology and the further introduction of ship automation, up to fully automatic ships, will be at the center of our attention.
In 2017, cyber attacks showed vulnerability in navigation and other information systems on ships and in ports. For example: there was interference with automatic identification systems and electronic maps, jamming global positioning systems and manipulating cargo and ship management systems, including through the introduction of malware, ransomware programs and viruses.
To date, international cybersecurity rules for the maritime industry have not yet been adopted. At the same time, the IMO guidelines on managing cybersecurity risks in seaports contain high-level recommendations regarding the protection of international shipping from existing and potential threats to cybersecurity. These guidelines can help reduce the associated vulnerability. IMO principles contain five functional elements for effective risk management in the maritime industry, namely: to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. For efficiency, these elements should be included in all aspects of the operations of the shipping company and personnel management. Currently, safety culture issues are being developed within the framework of the International Safety Management Code.
The main purpose of the Code is to create an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and the prevention of environmental pollution. It establishes the safety management objectives, as well as prescribes that the shipowner or any other authorized person (for example, a bareboat charterer or operator who accepts responsibility for operating the vessel) creates a safety management system and establishes the appropriate policy to achieve safety objectives. In accordance with the IMO regarding the management of cyber risks in safety management systems, the administration undertakes to ensure that cyber risks in the information systems defined in the Code are taken into account no later than the first annual inspection after January 1, 2021 of the year.
Internet of things (IoT)
The Internet of Things technology is a network of connected devices with unique identifiers in the form of Internet protocol addresses, with embedded technologies or equipped with technologies that allow them to perceive, collect data and report on the environment in which they are located and / or on themselves .
In the shipping industry, data from satellites and sensors connecting equipment, systems and mechanisms are increasingly being used to support informed decision-making on route optimization, object tracking and maintenance of mechanisms. Applications that can be applied in this area include, for example, a program that uses satellite data to determine the most efficient route and ships' ETA in real time, as well as the latest intelligent containers that use sensors and telemechanics to track indicators of temperature, vibration, humidity and air quality during maritime transport. For example, Maersk and MSC use these technologies to track the movement of reefer containers.
Also, the Internet of Things is increasingly being used in the industry to improve communication between ship and shore, for intelligent traffic management. A closer interface between ships and ports includes, for example, analyzing large databases to reduce shipping time and time spent entering ships in ports and other areas with heavy traffic, thereby reducing port congestion. For example, the cooperation initiative in the field of digitization between the Port of Rotterdam and IBM contributes to the preparation of this port for the further adoption of vessels that are up to 42 km away in order to increase the safety and efficiency of the port.
A similar joint initiative was also taken by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s academic institutions and Fujitsu to introduce IoT and Artificial Intelligence technology to provide long-term traffic forecasts, access points calculation and the formation of intelligent coordination models.
The Internet of Things is also used to develop systems that support navigation in difficult situations, for example, under adverse weather conditions or on busy waterways. For example, in March 2018, Rolls-Royce launched an intelligent information system, consisting of several sensors with intelligent software to create a three-dimensional model of nearby vessels and hazardous areas, in order to increase safety.
Other applications of the Internet of Things are remote control of ships without human intervention, remote control of the transition and automatic docking.
As soon as it becomes possible to fix ships' waste in real time, it will be possible to optimize operations using the blockchain technology, for example, to monitor reserve capacity, improve communication between various stages of the transportation route and improve port capacity.
Application of Blockchain
Blockchain is a distributed registry technology that allows you to safely record transactions in the registry in several places at the same time and through several individuals without the need to involve the central administration or intermediaries.
One of the potential problems associated with digital innovation in the maritime industry is the lack of standardization of electronic data interchange and the need for a common data format for the exchange of information. Electronic data interchange involves the electronic transfer of commercial or administrative transactions from one computer to another, using an agreed standard for structuring these operations or messages. This disadvantage, along with the general uncertainty regarding the potential applications of the blockchain, is one of the factors that can explain the long-term dependence of the shipping industry on paper documentation when transporting cargo in containers.
In general, the blockchain has the potential to increase the security of the Internet of Things. Using the blockchain technology, for example, you can secure documents, block theft of personal data, use public-key cryptography, and prevent unauthorized access to data, unlike the process of signing documents in paper form, and other forms of electronic data interchange. This technology is also designed to enhance cybersecurity by removing the only target that a hacker can attack in order to endanger the entire system. Thus, granting permission to manage data using the blockchain may include adding an additional level of security and gradually reducing the scope of centralized data storage and processing.
In the maritime industry, blockchain can be used, among other things, to track the movement of goods and ensure visibility of the supply chain at all stages; to register information about ships, including global risks and their impact on transportation; for interactive contracts and marine insurance policies; to move to digital technology and automate the processing of documents. This will save time and reduce costs associated with customs clearance and transportation of goods.
Several initiatives have been proposed regarding the use of blockchain technology in the field of container transportation, various options for a marine single window for quotations are being developed, covering all operations related to maritime transportation, including booking, documentation and customs clearance. For example, Maersk and IBM intend to create a joint venture to develop an open digital data processing platform for use throughout the industry so that companies can transport goods across international borders and track their movement in digital format.
PLATFORM WILL USE BLOCKCHAIN AND OTHER CLOUD TECHNOLOGIES WITH OPEN SOURCE CODE, INCLUDING THE TECHNOLOGY OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, INTERNET AND ANALYTICAL CONTENT OF IBM
Another example of the use of blockchain in shipping is the commissioning of a pilot using blockchain by the company Hyundai Merchant Marine and other members of the consortium in September 2017, which involved secure non-documentary booking and delivery processes. Hyundai Merchant Marine also considered the possibility of introducing this technology in the shipping and logistics industry, tested and considered a combination of the blockchain with the Internet of things through real-time monitoring and management of refrigerated containers on board the ship.
In addition, in August 2017, a consortium of 14 members was formed in Japan to develop a platform for exchanging commercial data using blockchains, while the Singapore company Pacific International Lines signed a memorandum of understanding with PSA International and IBM in Singapore on the development and testing of supply chains based on business decisions on the implementation of blockchain.
Potential future blockchain applications in shipping may include smart contracts, i.e. contracts in the form of computer programs executed under the blockchain technology that automate the fulfillment of the terms of any contract. Several prototype online contracts, such as an electronic bill of lading, were launched. Other technologies for the automated preparation of commodity documents are also being introduced (for example, “CargoDocs” with “essDOCS” and “Cargo X”). However, the development of automation of financing, payment and insurance in the field of shipping remains at the experimental and pilot stages. Once the application of smart contracts reaches a high level of development, a further action plan will include the following: negotiating freight rates directly between shipowners and their counterparties; automatic processing of payments subject to the terms of the contract, as well as issuing insurance policies and settling claims on sea insurance using blockchain technology.
For the first time, blockchain technology was introduced in the marine insurance industry. In May 2018, some industry players collaborated with consulting firm Ernst and Young and Guardtime, a software security company, to launch the world's first blockchain-based platform for insuring a ship hull. It is expected that this platform, suitable for commercial use, will allow you to manage the risks of more than 1,000 merchant ships in the first year only. In the future, it is planned to implement it for other types of insurance, in particular, cargo insurance, as well as in other sectors of global logistics, aviation and energy.
It should be noted that the blockchain technology is also widely used in the development of terminals and ports. For example, in April 2015, the construction of a fully automated and environmentally sustainable container terminal in the port of Rotterdam was completed, and in September 2017, the Block Lab was launched, the development of which is the development of blockchain-based applications and solutions.
Automated ships and drones
Among the advances in the field of cyber-systems and digitization in the maritime industry, special attention is drawn to autonomous maritime vessels. Like autonomous technologies in other industries, automated vessels can provide increased safety and cost savings by removing the human factor from certain operations. However, the concepts of “autonomous ship” and “unmanned ship” are not identical, since the former can act to varying degrees autonomously, including as partially autonomous, i.e. involving humans, and fully autonomous, i.e. without any human intervention. Yet these terms are not yet fully defined, either nationally or internationally, and there are many different formulations of autonomy levels.
HOWEVER, THE HUMAN INTERVENTION WILL BE NECESSARY IN AN OBJECTABLE FUTURE IN THE MOST SHIPPING OPERATIONS, CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND PASSENGERS FOR FULLY AUTOMATED SHIPS OUT CONSOLIDABLE OPTIMS.
Automated vessels can be used in a wide range of operations, including: rescue, liquidation of accidents and oil spills, passenger ferry transportation, towing and cargo transportation. However, at present they are mainly used for marine scientific research and various marine defense operations. The first remote controlled vessel or a fully automated commercial cargo ship can be commissioned by 2020. Thus, a fully electrified and automated container ship with a zero level of harmful emissions will be able to carry out short cabotage voyages in remote control mode or in a completely autonomous mode. Ocean autonomous and fully automatic vessels will appear only in 2030. Although the speed of innovation in this area is such that it can happen much faster.
The development of the prototype of the first fully automated and economically efficient container ship with electric drive for domestic transport in Europe has already been completed. The series includes five small vessels, the completion of which is expected at the end of 2018.
Electronic navigation systems and instruments have been improved, but the human factor still plays a key role. According to some studies, 75 to 96% of emergency marine accidents are due to human errors. Almost 15,000 insured accidents for liability for emergency marine accidents in 2011-2016, which is equivalent to an insured amount of more than $ 1.6 billion, occurred due to human errors.
CREW EXPENSES MAY MAKE UP TO 42% OF OPERATING COSTS. HOWEVER, such an amount can be significantly lower for vessels with a smaller number of crews or without crews, at which the risk of seizure of hostages by the pirates is reduced, and both of them will be disconnected. AT THIS ALSO YOU CAN REDUCE SHIPBUILDING COSTS AS YOU NEED A LESS PLACE FOR PLACEMENT OF SEAMEN AND MORE SPACE ON SHIP CAN BE USED FOR CARGO. SHIP'S OPERATIONS MAY BECOME MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY CLEAN, BECAUSE NEW AUTOMATED VESSELS ARE INTENDED FOR WORKING ON ALTERNATIVE TYPES OF FUEL WITH ZERO EMERGENCY DISCHARGE. IN ADDITION, WITH CONSIDERATION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OR NO CREW ON AIR, NEED TO REMOVE WASTE AND CAST WATER.
Although there are a number of advantages of IT technologies, there are still problems in their implementation, which include, in particular: cybersecurity, security associated with the absence of crew on board, the impact on the seafarer's profession and freight rates. In addition, the question remains whether insurers and mutual insurance clubs will offer insurance coverage for fully automated merchant ships. Also of particular concern is the potential loss of maritime occupations in developing countries. In general, the social effects of the development of IT technologies cannot be foreseen in all details. Of course, in the short term they can have very painful processes in economic and social, for example, labor relations. This is especially true for countries that are lagging behind in economic and technical terms.
Nevertheless, in the long run, the beneficial effect of IT technologies on all spheres of public life is quite obvious. Moreover, it is impossible to stop progress in the field of automation and informatization of the industry in general and the marine industry in particular. Thus, it can only be a search for such solutions and development paths that would alleviate the growing pains, in no way hindering the achievement of high rates of development of IT technologies. This applies in particular to the blockchain technology, which provides for the development of a multitude of related institutions, for example, smart contracts. Stable growth of the Internet is a prerequisite for the introduction of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. Of course, the risks associated with the development of information technology need special management. However, there is no doubt that progress in this area opens up new opportunities for ensuring security and compensating for possible negative consequences in the short and medium term.