Category: Shipping Trends

That Guard called Technology

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Image Courtesy: American Bureau of Shipping

Arthur C. Clarke, in his book Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry Into the Limits of the Possible, has said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” A remark that, today, completely justifies itself in any given walk of life – all including the shipping industry.

In the middle of the vast expanses of the world’s water bodies, the ships sail for days. Certainly, there is at least one on all 365 days. Surrounded by the nothingness of the water, earlier mishaps were not unheard of. It was a war with the waters as steering, the sails, directions, mood of the weather and so much depended on just luck. Then, technology took over and changed it for once and forever.

Ships, even in the middle of the roughest seas, has the means to save itself. Thanks to the technological developments that made it possible. Security is the most crucial for any industry. Today, security of the maritime industry is way too strong than it was some years back. A powerful tool today is the satellite.

A satellite provides for data, details on the ownership and activities of the ship and much more. Satellite data and images help a great deal in identifying if anything illegal is happening on-board. It has, in the recent past, unleashed serious issues like illegal operations – trafficking ammunition, human beings and drugs. These satellite images also help the crew on the vessel. The same satellite images can help them find about weather conditions and therefore navigate better. The weather office is able to alert the captain; helps devise an alternate routes.

These images and data make the sea more predictable. It feels so much more is under control. You are connected with the stations on land, all the time. Any hiccup and there goes the information and returns with help.

According to the report of “15 Years of Shipping Accidents: A review for WWF Southampton Solent University, “2012 has been a significant year for shipping safety issues. The IMO used Maritime Day (2012) to mark the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and as a watershed of safety at sea. Despite the continual increase in the world’s shipping fleet a decrease in overall numbers of shipping accidents has been seen over the last few decades.”

What has changed, everything has. The possibilities earlier have converted into reality because of technology. Reporting mechanism has become standardized; there is transparency and access to information; easy data sharing within different firms of the shipping industry to encourage all to work together as a team against the odds in the industry.

The idea of swimming and sinking together has undergone a sea change. Sinking doesn’t knock much as swimming together is facilitated by technology advancement.

Safer seas for our seafarers. Technology, it’s all your favours!

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