In 2019 the Baltic Exchange partnered with GeoSpock, a geospatial big data company, to look at building a digital platform for maritime industry emissions management. The partnership aims to work with the Exchange membership and broader industry to provide data access at a scale never before seen in the maritime sector.
To support this initiative, Baltic Exchange and GeoSpock published a white paper “The future of data in the maritime sector: driving change through geospatial data”. The document outlines the vision, and first steps in the initiative to help the entire maritime industry uncover value from the vast store of data sat just beyond their fingertips.
The first part of chapter two, featured below, looks at the ‘connected’ world. The full white paper is available to view here.
We live in an increasingly connected world. By 2022, it is estimated that 60 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Each one will create a constant stream of data, much of it geospatial in nature. The ability to understand how people, items and objects move around and interact with each other in near real time will provide a step change in our understanding of everything from supply chains and urban planning, to advertising and consumer behaviour.
The maritime industry has also begun its foray into data driven locational intelligence. AIS data already tracks the position of the ocean-going fleet, relaying positional information to provide updates on global vessel movements many times an hour. With around 80,000 merchant vessels in service on our oceans each day, such technology generates significant quantities of data in its own right. However, this is just the starting point on the journey towards a much more closely integrated global ecosystem. Sensors are increasingly deployed to monitor a whole range of activities in real time, from flow meters which measure exactly how much fuel is injected into vessel engines, to automated detection systems for water ingress and other marine hazards. Tracking is becoming more precise, with systems in development to allow not only the monitoring of vessels, but the individual containers they carry from port to port and country to country.
The alliance of this dense web of locational intelligence with new automation technologies provides a tantalising window into the ships of the future. Remote operations are already becoming common on fixed offshore structures such as oil rigs, and the increasing reliability and bandwidth of wireless communications technology means the development of such solutions for more mobile vessels is close to reality. Although more distant, autonomous vessels are a research priority for many engineering firms. These intelligent craft provide the possibility of a safer maritime environment for vessel crews whilst also increasing operational productivity. All these technologies and their associated benefits depend on a world more connected than ever before, with the ability to harness data with confidence and at scale.