Top 5 Areas in Shipping where Maximum Changes would be seen in the Future

In the past few years, the Maritime Industry has been through a complete makeover in areas ranging from technology to regulations. The shipping industry has become more disciplined due to the advent of new technologies and the series of piracy attacks in the past few years.

With new innovative technologies already in market or those that are due for future implementation, the shipping sector is on the verge of the beginning of a new era that promises to change the way the industry has been conceived until now.

In this article, we have tried to summarize and bring together top 6 areas wherein major developments in the shipping industry would be seen in future.

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Environmental Policies

  • Air pollution norms: Different norms have been approved or are in the process of being approved to reduce nitrogen and sulphur emission from ships. These laws are expected to be implemented and enforced in next 10 years. Nox Tier I, Tier II and Tier III engines and sulphur global Cap of 0.1% are expected to be included in the list.
  • Ballast water management code: Ballast water management is expected to be upgraded and reintroduced to keep a check on the quality of discharged ballast and modern ballast water treatment methods.
  • IMO CO2 index: International Maritime Organisation has introduced CO2 index program to keep track of CO2 and other green house gases from ships as rules for the same are not included in Annex VI. We might see an addition of more clauses or similar laws in near future
  • HERCULES program – Continuation of Hercules or similar program which aims to reduce carbon emissions from propulsion systems

Alternative Fuel Sources and Energy Efficiency

A lot has already been said and done in this area, and it would continue for quite some time in the future. Some of the main factors which we feel would shape the course of shipping industry in future are

  • LNG fuel for duel fuel engine
  • Sail Propulsion system/ Wind energy
  • Solar energy and fuel cells
  • Biofuel propulsion

Design Changes

Designs of ships have continuously evolved and they would continue to do so in the future as well, in order to become more compact and environmental friendly.

Several design changes that we feel can make a huge difference are

  • VLOC and Eco ship Designs

Maritime Safety and Security

With the rise in maritime piracy, this is one area which would see maximum changes in the years to come. Some of the main ones would be seen as

  • Introduction of various personal safety norms & equipments.
  • Introduction of anti piracy trainings.
  • Human fatigue has been considered a big hindrance in factor of safety and we might see changes in the rest hour regulation
  • The rise of private maritime security firms
  • Joint patrolling of counties in piracy affected areas
  • Armed personnel on ships

Trainings and Professionalism

The last but not the least; training of seafarers might reach new higher levels with automation and simulations playing a major role in training. Some of the main factors would include

  • Training of seafarers under new STCW-2010 code to be enforced in 2012.
  • Various maritime piracy courses to counter pirate attack at sea.
  • New distance learning maritime courses.
  • Special management courses of shipping professionals
  • Simulation and automation courses as ships become more digital

The maritime industry is evolving like never before, and it’s difficult to bring all the changes in a few words. As everything comes with some consequences, fortunately or unfortunately, it has become tougher for the seafarers and ship operators to carry out even the routine activities with hundreds of regulation and compliances to be followed. But the change is pertinent and is in the favour of the industry as a whole. Marine Insight would keep a close watch on all the advances and keep you updated on the latest trends and changes.

If you feel some of the changes that are important have not been mentioned here, feel free to tell us about them. We would be happy to get them included.

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One Comment

  1. interesting article, agree with some but not all. as far as alternative fuel sources go. if you take all the tonnage moved today and worked out how much energy it takes to move that mass by the required speed the required distance. that is how much energy, alternative or not you will need to do the job. working from that you will see how big a sail you need how much wind etc etc. trust me we will be Nuclear, that is if you still like cheap ipods from china. In the mean time they will tax the diesel ( gas oil) off the roads and use for ships.
    training and professionalism. I am reminded of what Dwight D Eisenhower once said ” farming looks easy when your plow is a pencil and you are a thousand miles away”!! forget distance learning and simulators. every engineer worth his salt got his hands dirty and knew how to use every tool in the shop. That’s our problem today, we have brought up entire generations who think it is easy and can be learned from a far. I was once interviewed by a engineer if you could not sharpen a twist drill he would not even consider you!!!


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