The last few years have seen some majors changes taking place within the shipping industry, in particular with regards to technology. Coding, Artificial Intelligence and other buzzwords are now becoming the norm in what has traditionally been an area that not many people could accuse of being an ‘early adopter’. From 2017 on wards new and disruptive tech has been sneaking its way onto ships and into their shore based counterparts, often in some quite surprising ways.

One of those relatively new (to the maritime industry) and exciting technologies is RFID, otherwise known as radio frequency identification. RFID is used in things as commonplace as the key fobs and passes that many of us use numerous times a day to swipe into our offices. However its ability to capture data is also used to automatically generate reports. Of course, in an industry that is built on the transportation and delivery of cargo and one that employs an ever revolving cast of crew, its core function of identification in secured environments is incredibly useful.

Radio frequency identification is becoming more  advanced, accessible, cost effective to implement and use. RFID is the basis on which the IoT - the Internet of Things - is built. The simplest definition of the IoT is that it is made up devices that are able to communicate with one another. These devices can be anything from a smart toaster to a basic sensor and from the smartphone in your pocket to your home or office security system.

So what are some of the other advantages for ship owners and managers? For one, they are now able to streamline the arrival, in-port movement, and departure of cargo lorries. This makes flow easier to execute and track and also increases security. Costly and time-consuming paperwork is also eliminated as drivers’ movements are recorded thanks to the use of RFID cards. This also cuts down on the need for human interface, saving on hiring, training and salary costs.

One of RFID’s other major achievements is that it has changed the way that products are packaged and labelled. That means that shipping companies have been given a golden opportunity to utilise a pioneering technology that is at the very forefront of revolutionizing the way we do business. Once prohibitively expensive for many smaller companies, the price of RFID sensors is now more affordable than ever before meaning that ship owners have the option of implementing RFID technology without really having to raise their costs.

If you’re looking to streamline your own operations, speak to Martide today about implementing our efficient end-to-end crewing solution.