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Digitisation of shipping takes centre stage at China's North Bund Forum

Photo: CCS North Bund Forum 2[45].jpg
Digital transformation lays at the heart of the future of global shipping, CCS session at the 2022 North Bund Forum hears

The digital transformation of the shipping industry and its global significance were placed in sharp focus at a session of the 2022 North Bund Forum organised by China Classification Society (CCS).

More than 140 expert delegates from government, international organisations, leading shipping companies and institutions came together online and in person to discuss future opportunities and the challenges faced in the vital process of digitalisation and intelligent shipping.

The session, held in the in Grand Constellation Hall of the Grand Halls, Shanghai, also examined ways to promote digital transformation in shipping and the wider development of a digital economy.

A wide range of themes covered in a series of keynote speeches and presentations included the innovation and development of Intelligent ships and work to build a new ecology for shipbuilding and shipping.

The importance of digitalisation and its role in taking shipping into a new era was also highlighted.

The session was moderated by Mr. Fan Qiang, Vice President of CCS. Speakers included Mr. Zhuang Mudi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. He highlighted work planned to improve shipping facilities, services and governance in Shanghai, including the construction of Intelligent ports and airports, and the importance of strengthening international collaboration.

Mr. Xu Zuyuan, Former MOT Vice Minister & IMO Maritime Ambassador, gave a speech on various topics, including improving the level of intelligence in the shipbuilding industry and cultivating digital talents and skills.

Another keynote speaker, Ms. Heike Deggim, Director of the Maritime Safety Division of the International Maritime Organisation, said that shipping could embrace the digital revolution while ensuring safety, managing cyber security risks and boosting environmental protection.

She also told the audience digitalisation was key in strengthening the resilience of the global supply chain and taking shipping into a new era.

Mr. Chen Yangfan, Executive   Vice   President   of   China   COSCO   SHIPPING   Corporation   Limited, explained the strategies his organisation was taking towards its digital transformation.

And the development of Intelligent ships and the innovative practices adopted by China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC) were highlighted by its Vice-President Mr. Sheng Jigang. He told delegates CSSC was “building a new ecosystem for shipbuilding and shipping”.

He said the implementation of digitalisation would both raise productivity and boost sustainability across the shipping sector.

Other topics around digitalisation and intelligent ships were covered by Ms. Sabrina Chao, President of BIMCO, Mr. Xu Pengzhan, President of China Transport Telecommunications & Information Centre and Mr. Ma Shuo, Vice President of World Maritime University.

The list of speakers also included Mr. Zheng Qingxiu, Deputy director of the Water Transport Bureau of the Ministry of Transport and Mr. Andreas Nordseth, Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority, who delivered his speech on “Digital transition in shipping”.

Mr. Wang Zhirong, Deputy Director of CCS Shanghai Rules and Research Institute was the final speaker. He told the session a forward-looking plan designed for CCS looked to take full advantage of emerging technologies and a comprehensive data base to speed up the integration of digital and real economies.

He also said CCS was exploring new rules to drive Intelligent ship development and was using new technology and equipment to optimise ship inspection.

The organisation also aimed to create a successful digital ecosystem by establishing a “digital space cooperation mechanism”.

CCS also used the Forum to publish its “Intelligent Ship Development Outlook 2022” report. By tracking the development status of existing Intelligent ships at home and abroad, it reveals the trends and key elements in the development of intelligence and digitalization in shipping.

The 2022 North Bund Forum was co-hosted by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and the Ministry of Transport of China. This year’s theme was ‘Green, Intelligent and Resilient Global Shipping & Aviation through Global Partnerships’.