On this day of recognition, I would like to celebrate the women and men who commit their lives, their careers, to being at sea for lengths of time.
The future of the maritime industry today is very different from when I first went to sea in 1977 when sextant was King. Today, the industry is driven by new technologies and digitalization that help us improve operations and safety.
In this new environment, manning and developing people is the key. Defining a seafarers’ job in the future is going to change due to digitalization of vessels. With appearance of autonomous and even unmanned ships, the role of the seafarers will transform and will require new set of skills and offer new exciting opportunities.
Look at the aviation industry where pilots are essentially system engineers because planes essentially fly themselves and air traffic control monitors the flight patterns and all air traffic. There is no doubt in my mind that is where the maritime industry is heading.
As technology becomes so advanced, our role in Transas is to empower the seafarers. It is irrational to think automation and technology will remove all of the problems. So, I believe it is still about people having the right skills and the right training to fix the issues in the modern maritime industry.
The adoption of smart technologies and improved connectivity have the potential to remove much of the drudgery that in recent years has crept on to the bridge and into the engine room, passing it back to the shore and allowing the crew to focus on the tasks they were employed for – namely, delivering the ship and its cargo safely from A to B.
Freeing the seafarers from time-consuming administration tasks will give them more time to carry out pro-active maintenance or devise new solutions that will have a positive impact on vessel operational efficiency and safety.
Training needs to reflect this new world and embrace the use of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence tools. The maritime academies will play a critical role in providing competence and support for the new human factor requirements.
We believe that knowledge exchange today needs to build on a platform including technology, content and expertise. This will enable a shared decision support environment & smart operations, and encourage new generations to join the maritime industry.
The new world is here already and we are here to help you embrace the change because for us seafarers matter.