Speaking at the official opening Frank Horch, Hamburg Senator for Transport, Economics and Innovation saw a digital future for shipping: "Digitalisation is the key to improved competitiveness. We are just at the beginning of developments ranging from smart navigation sensors to the use of drones for ship inspections."
“A lot of companies talk about energy optimisation. Why do we just optimise fuel cost? We should look instead to optimise revenue – and not just for shipowners, but for customers,” stated, Rolls-Royce Innovation vp Oskar Levander, seeing a wide range of benefits for unmanned ships.
Denis Morais, cto of SSI, a Canadian ship design firm believes in using big data to predict the future: “Because it takes two or three years to build a ship, what you’re really trying to do is predict the future. Designing and engineering a ship is a lot of different processes.”
There is no sign of a recovery for container shipping until 2018 according to Jan-Olaf Probst, director business development – executive vice president, at DNV GL-Maritime: “We are looking at least 2018 for a recovery. The market will continue to consolidate and the forming of new alliances is a sign of that.”
Iain White, global marketing manager, marine fuels & lubricants, ExxonMobil, says owners will have to deal with a multi-fuel future: “All the different options will be assessed by different owners and they will have to choose one that they consider the most cost effective.”
And shipowners will also face a serious challenge when 0.5% sulphur fuel is introduced says Unni Einemo, IMO representative, media and communications manager, IBIA: “We are looking at a virtually overnight shift from 3.5% fuel sulphur content to 0.5%. There is a real risk that the change would cause a period of severe product shortages and inflated prices.”
Meanwhile the coming into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention on 8 September 2017 is good news for equipment manufacturers. “Owners who have not done anything so far would need to start making investments within the next six months,” according to Don Stephen, vice president product management at De Nora Water Technologies.