Technology is changing the way that pretty much every industry on the face of the planet operates. But one sector that is definitely having to adapt to a new way of doing things is shipping. The maritime industry has tradition running through its very veins: after all it’s one of the oldest trades out there. However that traditionalism can mean that the industry as a whole can suffer from dated attitudes and resistance to change from some quarters.

But with a new generation of seafarers coming up through the ranks, a generation that has been brought up on computers, mobile phones, social media and connectivity, this means that our industry is more likely to embrace technology and the changes that come with it.

Making a seafarer’s life easier

So what exactly are these new technologies that will likely have an effect on the maritime industry? On a personal level it’s making a mariner’s life on board a ship more comfortable thanks to the introduction of wifi. This plays a huge role in ensuring that crew are able to maintain regular contact with friends and loved ones at home, as well as stay entertained, or even educated, no matter how far they are from shore.  

Talking of education, the very way in which seafarers are trained is also evolving. Take gamification which trains crew members and lets them practice their maritime skills while on board a vessel. Gamification, as well as simulator based training, encourages engagement through concepts usually associated with video games, such as rules of play, point scoring, and competing with with others. It can also be personalised towards the learner in ways that typical classroom learning cannot be.

A move towards sailor-less ships?

On a far larger scale, while driverless cars may be making the headlines, so too are autonomous ships being talked about within the industry. This move towards sailor-less ships  may fill those of a more traditional persuasion with dread. But unmanned vessels and ships that are controlled remotely from virtual bridges on shore are set to become reality. However industry specialists have stated human crew will always be a necessity. Plus there are challenges, from cyber-security to adherence to international regulations, that need to be overcome before autonomous ship technology is implemented.

The rise of the drone

The use of drones in the maritime industry is also being touted as a solution to safety and security concerns. Drones can help drastically decrease the time and expense of monitoring a vessel’s defects so problems can be diagnosed and fixed while a ship is at sea. Another advantage of drones is that they’re able to enter hostile environments and operate in conditions that are unfavourable to humans.  

For on board security, consider how a mobilised drone can be employed to gather more valuable data than multiple cameras located throughout a location. And while drones may not entirely replace fixed cameras, they could augment existing security to provide a more complete picture.

Martide are firm believers in using technology to bolster your efficiency and profitability. Talk to us today to find out more about our integrated crew management and recruitment software solution.