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Fleet Optimization and Innovation Headlines of the Week July 18, 2018

Autonomous- What’s in a Name? . . . Headlines the Week- July 18, 2018          View this email in your browser


What’s in a Name???

Shipping has been abuzz for the past couple of years about autonomous ships.  I have seen demonstrations of an OSV in the North Sea being operated remotely from San Diego, and the proposed project transiting three ports in Norway without human intervention. Most recently was a demonstration of remote operation of a tugboat with a drone used to secure the towline.

Yes, autonomous shipping is here—but what does that mean exactly??  Does this mean continuing to automate functions?  Does this mean crew and shoreside reductions?  Does this mean unmanned?

As we wrestle with these issues—and opportunities—I believe it is important for us to be clear as to what we mean by autonomous.  If we mean increasing the efficiency of shipping in all its many facets (operationally, environmentally, financially), then let’s all pull on the oar!  If we mean unmanned, however, there is a long road and a lot of work ahead of us.

As seen in the New York Times article below on the aviation industry’s approach to automation, they don’t believe the public is ready for commercial airliners to be flown without pilots (those of you who remember the movie “Airplane” might disagree given the performance in the cockpit).  The public gains assurance from having a human being present who can override the electronics and bring the plane to safety, (no matter how misplaced their confidence in Kareem Adbul Jabar?  Really??).

Whether onscreen or in real world circumstances, how we approach the issue of autonomy and unmanned needs to take into account public acceptance.  This is currently part of the discussions at IMO, but should also be baked into the business plans of developers who are working in this exciting and dynamic area.

In the meantime, we can certainly tout the benefits of automation in terms of safety, efficiency and environmentally.

And as Shakespeare said:  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Keep optimizing,


     Carleen Lyden Walker
     Chief Evolution Officer
IMO Maritime Ambassador
+1 203 255 4686 (o)
+1 203 260 0480 (m)
News of the Week
July 18, 2018 
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John Browne: Oil and Gas Companies Will Lead Energy Revolution

2018-07-11 – When it comes to climate change, I have always been a believer: not in hand-wringing debate, not in unrealistic solutions like the elimination of hydrocarbons, but in the power of action. In 1997, as chief executive of BP, I was the first leader of a major oil company to acknowledge that climate change was a problem, and that the industry had a responsibility to acknowledge and address it. The head of the American Petroleum Institute claimed that I had “left the church.”. . . READ MORE

Wärtsilä Wins 170 Million Euro Scrubber Order from Major European Container Shipping Company

2018-07-13 – Finnish technology group Wärtsilä says it has received a 170 million euro order to install exhaust scrubbers on the fleet of a major European container shipping company.  Wärtsilä Services will deliver 50 MW, 60 MW and 70 MW Wärtsilä hybrid exhaust gas cleaning equipment which it will retrofit onto the container vessels. . . READ MORE

IMO’s 2020 Sulphur Cap Seen Ushering In New Era of Slow-Steaming

2018-07-13 – If you happen to be at the beach this summer, make a mental note of any giant freighters crossing the horizon. In a few years’ time those same ships will probably be moving just a fraction slower.  If the slowdown does happen — and the likes of Citigroup Inc. say it will — then the wider consequences would be profound for both the shipping industry and its customers, given that about 90 percent of world trade moves by sea. The cause of this deceleration? A rule to combat the merchant fleet’s emissions of sulfur oxides starting in January 2020. . . READ MORE

Greek Shipowners hail IMO decision to consider safety issues on 2020 sulphur cap

2018-07-16 – The Union of Greek Shipowners hailed the IMO Intersessional Working Group’s move to take into account several safety concerns linked to the transition to new low-sulphur fuels, especially blended fuels, ahead of the 0.5% global sulphur cap entering into force form 1 January 2020. . . READ MORE


Building a digital culture in maritime industry

2018-07-11 – Shipping industry is currently facing a new challenge; a complex one that is called “digital transformation”. Automation is gaining increasing interest across the maritime industry while IMO puts the issue of autonomous ships high on the agenda, stepping up efforts toward their adoption. Also, advanced software and simulation capabilities are emerging and maritime connectivity gets improved. But, how are ship operators adopting this digital transformation and taking advantage of it to make their organisation fit for the future? Building a digital culture in maritime industry may be, therefore, the next important issue to work on after safety culture development and nurture . . . READ MORE

UN launches Panel to address the effects of digitalization

2018-07-13 – Upon request of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, tech experts gathered to explain the benefits of digital technology. These experts aim to show how new technologies can be used effectively, while also protecting against unwanted or unexpected negative impacts. The panel will be comprised of women and men of technology, public policy, science, and academia. . . . READ MORE


Ships to Be Fueled with Plastic at Amsterdam Port

2018-07-13 – The Port of Amsterdam will soon get a new factory that will be able to convert unrecyclable plastic into fuel for ships.  The processing of plastic waste is expected to cut CO₂ emissions by 57,000 tons per year, compared to today’s manner of waste management. . . READ MORE


The top 10 international shipping centres

2018-07-16 – Singapore is considered as the top world’s shipping centre for the fifth year in a row, followed by Hong Kong, London, Shanghai and Dubai. The outcome is based on the International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCD) issued by Baltic Exchange and Xinhua news agency. . . READ MORE

Shipping industry needs balance between safety and environmental protection measures

2018-07-13 – During Posidonia 2018, SAFETY4SEA met with the International Registries, Inc.’s (IRI’s) Team for an exclusive interview on the future shipping challenges, discussing also key issues such as what is required for implementing a strong safety culture onboard and for effective global Sulphur cap compliance, due in 2020.  As explained, the Marshall Islands Registry, which has already a strong presence worldwide in terms of performance, continues to invest in initiatives in favour of operators and their crews onboard. For example, by providing an expanded network of experts worldwide ready to assist in any field such as LNG – which is a new addiction of expertise, the Marshall Islands Registry manages to be on the operators’ side. Overall, given that crew members are the most important factors for safety onboard the ships, the focus for IRI is on safety implementation and the improvement of vessel’s performance. . . READ MORE


Are You Ready to Fly Without a Human Pilot?

2018-07-16 – On a recent visit to the Southwest Airlines headquarters in Dallas, I got to fly a Boeing 737. Or, at least, I got as close as someone who is not a licensed commercial pilot can: I sat at the controls of a multimillion-dollar simulator and learned how to “land” at La Guardia Airport in New York City. . . READ MORE

Remote Controlled Tugboat Demonstrated

2018-07-10 – Netherlands based towage services provider Kotug believes unmanned remote controlled ships will be the first step to unmanned autonomous shipping. As a step toward achieving this goal, the company recently demonstrated the sailing of the first remote controlled tugboat over a long distance. . . READ MORE

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Online Nominations Now Being Accepted for 2018 SHIPPINGInsight Awards

SHIPPINGInsight annually recognizes the partnership between shipowners and solution providers to improve industry operations.  The nominating period is now opened!  The 2018 SHIPPINGInsight Award will be presented at an Awards luncheon on the second day of the seventh SHIPPINGInsight Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition, Oct. 16-18, in Stamford, Connecticut . . READ MORE

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