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 second part of chapter one, featured below, looks at the maritime data landscape. The full white paper is available to view here.
The maritime data landscape
The maritime industry already collects and records a wealth of data associated with its activities and operations. Noon reports provide regular information on vessel performance, progress and fuel consumption at sea, whilst bills of lading are vital documents detailing cargo histories and receipts which facilitate international trade. Some data, such as vessel specification information and performance benchmarking, is static, rarely changing. However, the majority of data is dynamic, requiring updates to remain valid and relevant. Even relatively fixed information can become out of date if vessels undergo substantial refitting or modification over the course of their lives. Ensuring the validity of data therefore requires the constant transfer of information between parties.
However, the web of maritime data is highly complex, with organisations and stakeholders in the industry often creating and curating only a relatively small part of the complete picture. This can expose parties to risks from beyond the limits of their own data horizons, from delays due to operational issues at ports, to fuel consumption disputes between vessel owners and charterers. Dealing with this in the current environment requires complex chains of communication, increasing transaction costs as well as uncertainty. Improving the visibility of information and value chains will help provide parties with much needed clarity across the industry and enable more confident, effective use of the significant quantities of data already encapsulated beneath the maritime umbrella.