maritime August 2019

Harnessing data insights to ride the crest of a wave

Life on the open wave is full of uncertainty. From port delays and weather disruption to wider issues such as population growth and environmental regulations, the maritime industry faces constant change.

But simply staying afloat is not enough – to succeed, shipping operators need to optimise operations and innovate to stay ahead of the game. With a vast data resource on tap, the winners will be those who harness valuable data insights to power ahead in a world of change.

More than 200,000 cargo vessels are on the water at any one time – and, on average, a container ship travels a distance equivalent to 75% of the way to the moon and back in a single year. That generates a lot of data covering everything from location, speed and fuel burn to suspicious activity around a vessel that could be a sign of piracy or fraud.

But all too often this valuable information is hidden away in silos of data, with no central hub and no sharing of vital intelligence. It's only when you join the dots to see the bigger picture that you start to uncover crucial insights that can transform your business.

Our state-of-the-art spatial big data platform provides a window on the maritime world like never before.
It offers unique visibility of when and where machinery is being used, for example, and under what conditions – as well as enabling real-time monitoring of vessels. Timely maintenance can then maximise the return on investment for shipping operators – avoiding costly schedule disruptions caused by unexpected breakdowns.

Our platform also helps operators understand their ships' normal patterns of operation so that any suspicious activity can be spotted immediately, before it affects business – saving time and money.

Fuel fraud, for example, costs the industry more than £600m a year – when captains act illegally and sell some of their fuel on the black market for cash to another ship that pulls up alongside whilst at sea. Piracy is also a problem in some parts of the world, with ships at risk of attack from armed gunmen. Combining transponder data with satellite imagery, mobile phone signals and so on builds a picture of activity surrounding a vessel and can alert an operator to such suspicious activity in real time.

Data analytics could also hold the key to surviving – and even thriving – in the face of disruption threatening the maritime industry in the coming years. It's predicted, for example, that climate change will lead to new shipping lanes opening up in the Arctic region by 2030-35 – cutting 4-5 days off the journey time from the UK to China. Visualising and analysing the effects of such radical trade route changes will be vital to ensure operations continue to be optimised.

With the shipping industry accounting for 2% of the UK's GDP – it's the largest industry contributor – the stakes are high for all of us.

Learn more: Book a demo

To gain insight as to how the GeoSpock Spatial Big Data Platform can help your organisation we encourage you to book a demo. The demo will showcase the platform's capabilities allowing you to visualise real-time data by bringing together multiple datasets to explore hidden patterns offering immediate business impacts.

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