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Live From SMM 2016
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SMM officially opens focusing on smart shipping, big data and digitalisation

SMM officially opened last night in Hamburg at the City Hall in a ceremony and party hosted by Frank Horch, Hamburg Senator for Transport, Economics and Innovation.

Standing under a gigantic oil painting of Hamburg Port (pictured) the Senator welcome participants from almost 70 countries to a city steeped in shipping for 800 years and to this year’s event which looks very much forward where digitalisation, green propulsion and eco-fuel efficient shipping are the key watch words.

"Digitalisation is the key to improved competitiveness," noted Horch.

"We are just at the beginning of developments ranging from smart navigation sensors to the use of drones for ship inspections."

Herbert Aly, head of Nordic Yards Holding and SMM steering committee chair, warned: "The maritime sector has been innovating for years and continues today with big data, smart shipping and digitalisation but we cannot provide solutions on everything we are facing."

He sees that the value and timely impact will unfold in this order: first to benefit will be the manufacturers and service providers of digitalisation; next the ship operators, followed by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) with the shipyards the last to benefit.

"All layers will have to deal with smart technologies and it may be a precursor for staying in the shipping sector."

He said there are some bright spots in ship construction in the niche markets picking out defense, cruise, offshore wind and mega yachts... For other sectors I don't believe they are dead just lying dormant."

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