Decarbonization and Digitalization are not just buzzwords; they represent critical priorities for the industry as it navigates a rapidly changing world.  A latest study by the Singapore Maritime Foundation and DNV, examines the impact of these transformative forces on ship management and seafarers and identifies the key drivers as we are heading towards 2030.

New regulations have seen shipowners and operators increasingly explore the use of alternative fuels and deploy new energy-saving technologies onboard. In addition, the growing automation of components and systems onboard is expected to bring about a rise in autonomous and smart ships in the future.

In particular, the report, titled ”The future of Seafarers 2030: A Decade of Transformation’‘ identifies the following key drivers of the transformation in the
maritime industry:

1 Regulations
The International Maritime Organiza- tion (IMO) has developed the Initial IMO Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Strategy, and individual governments have set targets for reducing GHG emissions. The maritime industry is subject to these regulations. Recent examples include Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), EU’s Fit for 55 packages, and the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)’s Net-Zero Standard, all of which have been implemented.


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These changes provide regulatory pressure on the maritime industry and force the industry to move to a future which reduces the reliance on carbon-based fuels. However, should shipowners and managers wish to continue trading, these mandatory regulations must be met.

2 Economic incentives
As the cost of renewable energy sources continues to decline, it becomes increasingly cost-effective for shipping companies to invest in decarbonization technologies and alternative marine fuels. To attract competitive investment in these environmentally friendly fuels, green financing can be utilized. Green financing incentivizes emissions reduc- tion targets or specific technologies through more competitive financing alternatives than traditional ones. One such framework is the Poseidon Principles.

For instance, port fees can be reduced for ships that are members of specific environmental programmes and meet more ambitious decarbonization metrics than Business-As-Usual. Other examples include the Environmental Shipping Index and Environmental Port Index as the industry standard tool.

3 Environmental concerns
The maritime industry con tributes to global GHG emissions, and there is increasing pressure from cargo owners, charterers, port states and the public to reduce environmental impact.


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4 Competitive advantage
Companies seen as leaders in sustainability, technology adoption and #decarbonization may have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Customers prefer companies with more sustainable and technology-focused environmental solutions. Maritime companies investing in decarbonization may be perceived as more responsible and sustainable, thus improving their reputation and attractiveness to customers.

5 Increasing demand for efficiency and transparency
As the global economy becomes more interconnected, the demand for a more efficient and transparent supply chain is increasing, driving further changes in the maritime industry.

"To determine the skills for a future-ready seafarer, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry landscape that lies ahead. This includes the expected transformation of the maritime industry across areas such as decarbonization and sustainability, digitalization and automation", DNV notes.

Source: Safety4sea



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Issue 85 of Robban Assafina

(May/ June 2023)


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