Top 8 AI Maritime Technology Revolutionizing Shipping

10 mins read  Sealuminati TeamMay 16, 2021
top-8-ai-maritime-technology-revolutionizing-shipping

Change is civilization's constant partner. When a sector like shipping has a responsibility to keep a global supply chain on its shoulders, change is inevitable. However, when we talk about maritime transport as a sector that evaluates modern technologies, we can say that the changes are striking.

Intelligence modules: induce the need. The forwarding corridor no longer has the sole goal of “moving loads from one part to another”, but offers sustainability, efficiency and environmental friendliness in shipping is now a major concern. However, the International Maritime Organization, shipping giants, and research institutions have rightly addressed the stress of making the shipping industry greener. 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the third IMO GHG study.

It all makes sense as one of the global shipping hubs which accounted for nearly 36.9 million containers in the pandemic affected year – ‘Singapore’, is taking jumps while progressing towards their goal of becoming the Silicon Valley of Maritime. Singapore is raising funds to aim the start-ups which are planning to influence the environmental sustainability, cyber-security, and data processing units of maritime. With an estimated investment of about $15 Billion, Singapore is expecting a maritime technology growth of about 70% from the current 50% and believes the no. of start-ups to touch a 100 mark from the current 30 by 2025. Singapore highly contributes to global trade and with their aim to blossom maritime technology, they are surely going to aid the shipping industry in terms of revolutionizing it in AI.

The IMO, which focuses on decarbonization, developed the original GHG strategy, which aims to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping (reducing CO2 emissions from shipping works on average by international shipping by at least 40% by 2030 with efforts to 70%) by 2050 compared to 2008); and that annual greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping should be reduced by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. The need to develop and implement more viable shipping routes is the father of innovation and has sparked artificial intelligence at sea. There are several modules based on artificial intelligence that bring the maritime sector to the height of a new era. To name the biggest: intelligent ships that offer economy through fuel optimization, route predictions that ensure safe operations with better response times, operations that increase port efficiency, drones that sail at sea to deliver spare parts. Keys, autonomous shipping, and digital twins Paving the way for revolutionizing all components from the construction of a ship to its dismantling in the junkyard.

Let us discuss these godfathers to greener and sustainable shipping in a more insightful manner.

Digital Twin

As defined by Glaessgen and Stargel, a digital twin is a multi-physics, multi-scale, and probabilistic simulation of a complex product that uses models, sensor updates, etc. to mirror the life of its corresponding physical twin.

However, when we restrict the definition to the maritime domain, it says- digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical asset that renders its behavior and state close to real-time, sensor observations acting as the key to providing operational conditions.

The basic architecture of digital twin looks like this:

a. Physical Twin- Physical Asset+ actuators+ sensors

b. Local Data source- Sensor interface on the physical twin

c. Local Data Repositories - Data Servers and Local Databases located near the digital twin.

d. IoT Gateway- Furnishes interfacing between local and cloud data repositories that establishes a connection between the physical twin and its virtual/digital counterpart.

e. Cloud-Based information Repositories- Stores the data collected by physical assets and their digital counterpart

f. Emulation and Simulation Platform- Generates value (predictive maintenance, optimization, etc.) through encompassed software with the help of gathered data.

When we look into the Hype Cycle for emerging technologies graph for the year, it has been speculated that the digital twin technology is to reach the plateau of productivity in the period of 5-10 years.

The port of Antwerp, the second-largest port in Europe, is the forerunner of digital twin technology. With different sensors: 500 cameras, pipeline information, 12 different databases including financial information, GIS information, depth information, computer vision, available waterways, shipping companies, and ships. For freight traffic, the port of Antwerp has succeeded in creating awareness of the port situation. The port of Antwerp is properly supported by its port city, which has a digital partnership that enables better decisions about mobility, air quality, noise pollution, etc.


The shipyard with digital twin technology is also a reality today. Newport News Shipbuilding, America's oldest and largest shipbuilder, the sole developer of US Navy warships, began in 2017 to direct production for the Ford-class digital shipyard. The goal is to create a digital twin of your Siemens NX design that supports the presentation of the digital twin and Team Centre serves as your information control system. Plans, reducing the time by up to 6 months from 3 years of review, augmented reality that eases the passage and looks for suitable maintenance rooms, modeling and simulation to overcome the operational dynamics and enable real-time problem-solving in design and process; and additive manufacturing to eliminate the need for replacement parts in processes to increase efficiency, safety, and affordability. This production line method is undoubtedly a way to build more efficient ships through real-time operational dynamics before the ship lands on the water.

"We're seeing more than 20 percent performance improvement," said Chris Miner, vice president of in-service carriers for Newport News Shipbuilding. As reported by Director of Technology Business Management, JohnOrd, integrated digital shipbuilding could cut the cost of the third Fordby15%. The Newport News Shipbuilding-class aircraft carrier reportedly used TBM to increase transformation spending from 5% to 24% since 2016.

In addition to the enthusiasm for Digital twin technology, DNV GL has also joined various stakeholders and developed a strategy to monitor the hull condition using sister ship using sensors that can easily identify physical effects such as deformation, vibration, or temperature in the real world. Conditions and its Trueness-DNV GL module provides a quality control application for helmet monitoring. The other major projects in this area are the digital twin of a cooling system from the Integrated Energy Solutions for Smart and Green Shipping (INTENS) project and Lappeenranta University Technology (LUT), SINTEF, DNV-GL, and Kongsberg Digital Shipyard and Mitsui Lines (MOL): Digital twin of the main engine project, which is being carried out in collaboration with the National Institute of Maritime, Port, and Aviation Technology (MPAT) and the National Maritime Investigation. Institute (NMRI).

AI-Enhanced Crane Operations on Port

Terminal operations and stowage plan affect port efficiency, ship response time and on-time delivery of cargo. Loads have to be loaded and unloaded for which industrial

cranes are used. Moving cargo tonnage amid gusts of wind in a port can compromise structural integrity and lead to catastrophic accidents. With the help of cameras, actuators, wind gauges, sensors that measure the torque of the structure, sensors that measure meteorological parameters. Artificial intelligence and machine learning for automated container port management as well as for trucks and ships are already in use or In developing some key methodologies, officials need to ensure efficient operations and predict failures before they occur by monitoring situations. It is already being used on automated loading cranes in ports in Southern California, New Jersey, and Virginia in the United States. Shanghai in China and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. AI makes decisions about which containers

to stack or unload first based on a database and other analysis. Of the twenty largest container hub ports, fifteen had or will have at least partially automated one or more Terminals according to a 2018 report.

Route Forecasting through AI

When it comes to moving cargo through storms, offshore safety plays a crucial role. Underwater currents and high waves are taken into account. This is nothing new as there have been many projects the shipping giants invested in, some in the development process, others using the engineering, and some in the energy and automation group ABB and the Dutch weather forecast specialist Meteo Group prepared the order to equip 140 containers with software for route optimization.

However, the top maritime route forecasting software enlists "Navi-Planner" of Tranzas, "PassageManager" of ChartCo, "Bon Voyage System" of StormGeo, "Ship Performance Optimization" System" of MeteoGroup, "Commercial Marine Vessel Routing" of Jeppesen, Navtor.

AI Vessel Performance and Fuel- Optimization


Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, an optimal route is planned for the ship, the dimensions, properties, optimal conditions, and weather conditions are analyzed. This optimal route provides more efficient boat operations by reducing fuel consumption by 2-10%. Lines successfully piloted the project in 2018 with the Stena Fuel Pilot software onboard Stena's Scandinavica ship on the Gothenburg - Kiel route. In conclusion, the project has shown that it has helped to reduce fuel consumption by 2-3%. Stena Line then modernized its 37 ships with the system in Europe by the end of 2020.

Artificial intelligence is not only limited to fuel optimization but also contributes to detailed remote inspection

and maintenance onboard through predictive maintenance so that device errors can be detected early before they occur. Manager to maintain the health of the ships and extend their useful life.

In 2018, Maersk announced the launch of Captain Peter, an AI virtual assistant to help customers remotely manage their containers and gain greater insight into their cargo’s voyage.

AI-enabled Image Recognition and Sound recognition also facilitates the detection of hazards in the way of navigation and ensures more dependability on the route and safe navigation.

Drone Delivery

The delivery of drones to ships and ports was introduced to deliver essential spare parts, necessary medicines, and other essential items without interference from human interaction and touch. This increases the risk and exposure to the coronavirus. It's not limited to just delivering supplies, but drones can also be used to monitor infrastructure. in ports and shipping areas to see the proper execution of safety removal mandates and the receipt of thermal images of the staff and to report any fluctuations indicated by the coronavirus. Terra Drone uses its drones to provide quarantine and medical supplies with the lowest risk. The People's Hospital of China.

A start-up called FDrones has made the first authorized commercial delivery out of the line of sight of BVLOS drone to ships in Singapore, where it delivered 2kg of vitamins over approximately 3km in 7 minutes to a ship operated by Eastern Pacific Shipping. Traditional modes of transportation are expensive, slow, labor-intensive, and carbon-intensive. With drone solutions, up to 80% of costs, time, and CO2 emissions can be saved. On the evening of November 1st, 2020 delivery of the world's first 3D-printed CE-certified lifting tool from # Wärtsilä, which, in cooperation with the #WilhelmsenGroup, has a weight of 3 kilograms over 5 kilometers in 7 minutes to Berge Sarstein owned by Berge Bulk has been.

Besides being efficient, delivery drones can also reduce unnecessary human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Nicolas Ang, CEO of F-drones. Drones aided with bots with UVC Lights aided with programmed AI can also be used for sterilization and disinfecting purposes without human contact. The concept of Urban Air mobility is a very good alternative to the traditional method of delivering goods in an era where the world is hit by pollution, traffic congestion, and urgency to follow safe distancing and avoid human contact.

The market size of autonomous vehicles and logistics for transportation is estimated at USD 11.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 29.06 billion by 2027, with an annual growth rate of 21.01% during the forecast period 2022 to 2027.

Blockchain Technology

A blockchain is a specific form of organized distributive ledger technology. All transactions in the network are linked in a sequence of blocks. The blocks can be closed, locked and new blocks can be added to the chain through digital coded transactions. The blocks are stored and recorded in a sequential manner with fixed, specified numbers.


This is a secure process of verification of transactions, which records the timing of the transaction and ensures that only the intended recipients get access to the information. Blockchain algorithms can add subsequent blocks using public and private key cryptography. It is a self-governing system where cryptography verifies information in permanent blocks of data- Blockchain technology enables the automatic operation of a maritime smart contract, with events triggering actions that would otherwise require manual intervention or processing. The users’ identities are safely protected by crypto-programming and permission-based sharing. Each party has the right to protect sensitive information, such as customer data.In 2017, Maersk and IBM developed the supply chain called TradeLens, which is run on the blockchain. IBM stated that the TradeLens platform will reduce the cost and complexity of trading. IBM and Maersk want blockchain technology to manage and track the paper trail of millions of containers in the world. It is a neutral platform, accessible to all stakeholders, which moves the technology and the shipping industry forward by cooperative data-sharing.

Can you imagine how a ship will be when we inculcate all these highly develop AI-based features in it? Something highly automated and digitally advanced right? Yes, right, such kinds of ships are already in making and will be known a ‘Smart Ships’

Smart Ship

Smart ships are expected to evolve the whole maritime industry, as it will change the definition of shipbuilding, providing benefits of about nearly three folds as compared to today to all the players. What we see in movies can be true, a port-driven automated vessel, having the potential to optimize fuel, re-route the vessel to reach an estimated time zone, and minimizing collisions. Even IMO has released statements of developing the sector of automation and unmanned vessel. IMO includes “Integrate new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework” in one of their strategic direction in the year 2018-23.

AI Will Enable Ships to Attain a higher Level of Autonomy and Sailors to Have a Better Understanding of their Vessels. Usage of AI Applications in Ships marginally reduces the involvements of human errors in maritime accidents, which according to the reports are nearly 85% - 90%. Smart Contracts will enhance the entire shipping value chain, as transparency will be highly addressed in shipment tracking. Augmented Reality aided with Big Data Analytics will Provide an Immersive and Complete User Experience for Ship Navigation and control. Also, Insights Generated from Big Data Enable Better Decision Making across Functions on Ships as well as Ports Sensors and Connected Systems will Result in the Generation of Vast Amounts of Data to Help Optimize Vessel Operation. Centralized Storage of Data Can Help the Shipping Industry in Maintaining a Globally Coordinated Workflow. Adoption of Cloud Makes Operations, Communications, and Collaborations Easier for the Workforce off and on Shore. Cloud Enables Shipping Companies to Maintain Centralized Data Management Systems and Apply Data Policies between Global Locations.

Several projects are going all around the globe to produce a smart ship. Europe has started Munin, which aims to develop such vessels by 2035, sharing the vision with Rolls-Royce. China, Japan, and Korea are the highly interesting countries to complete and reach the degree 4 levels of automation. Finland is making companies like Inmarsat and DNV-GL invest in its project AAWA. Maersk and IBM are the other two leading companies, highly interested to invest in automation-based maritime projects. Combining the efforts of every company we can surely hope for the waters to witness a sail of fully automated vessel in the upcoming 10-30 years.

Cyber Security

It is a good thing that the maritime industry is progressing towards the automation era. But, no success comes without loopholes, loophole for automation is Cyber-threats. As the shipping vessels are becoming more technologically advanced, more are they becoming vulnerable to cyber-crimes.

Cyber-assaults at the maritime enterprise have been at the upward push as claimed through Robert Rizika Naval Dome’s Boston-primarily based Head of North American Operations all through the 2020 Port Security Seminar & Expo. According to him, assaults have accelerated through 900% withinside the remaining 3 years. The information advises that the variety of extensive cyberattacks at the maritime enterprise have accelerated from 50 in 2017 to a hundred and twenty in 2018 and plenty better in 2019 greater than 310, and plenty of others going unreported. That’s now no longer it, with the pandemic unfolding and boom in far off logins and social distancing measures an uptick of 400% has been observed in cyberattacks withinside the enterprise in 2020. The economic losses incurred because of such assaults also are extraordinarily worrying, Maersk recorded a big lack of US $300 million in 2017 all through the assault of NotPetya which become international ransomware that inflamed the agencies reservation device main to congestion at greater than eighty ports throughout the globe including Rotterdam, New Jersey, New York wherein the numerous digital structures froze. A comparable incident took place in 2019 wherein the device of the San Francisco port malfunctioned after an assault, for bitcoins in ransom. All of those advises that a big chain response of a remarkable disaster that a cyberattack can trigger, all of the greater purpose for the deliver proprietors to worry.
In the July 2017 circular, IMO facilitating with Maritime Security Committee (MSC) got here with the perfect announcement to cope with the maritime safety rules and cope with the business enterprise as of new through 1st January 2021 to mitigate the cyber risk. Resolution

MSC.429(98) truly states and encourages the international locations to “appropriately address” the pre-current requirements. The IMO member states stimulated ISC Code now serves because the degree to cope with a wide array of things accounting for technical controls, enforcing bridge safeguards, comparing the cyber-safety influences with strategic preparedness, shipment and propulsion handling, passenger experiencing public net and other IT region risks.

Forescout Technologies Inc., a leading global cybersecurity agency based in the United States, has announced that the IMO must comply with all specific operating technologies (OT) and approve the requirements of the United Nations Maritime Organization (IMO) within the cybersecurity period. The company focuses on introducing commercial technologies to visualize and control equipment to avoid delays caused by cyber threats in the maritime industry.

According to market trends, the need for network security is easy to understand. The current size of the network security market is $19.87 billion. According to statistics, by the end of 2025, the company's sales are expected to reach 29.910 billion US dollars, which means that the number will increase substantially. From now on, the annual compound annual growth rate is 51, which is From 2021 to 2025, North America will have the highest market share of approximately 34.6%, and Forescout will become an important provider of network security here. This period of 4 to 5 years offers tremendous opportunities. They already have an advantage in it.

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