The recent announcement of our partnership with the Baltic Exchange – to build the world's most advanced global maritime spatial database – highlights a unique opportunity to tackle maritime emissions.
Our critical new resource will bring together the array of datasets emerging from the maritime industry – giving collaborators unparalleled access to visualisations and data insights as never before.
It will enable the industry to make informed decisions on clear air initiatives – and effectively demonstrate how it is tackling regional and global emissions ahead of next year's introduction of new low-sulphur rules by the International Maritime Organization.
The maritime industry is undergoing an intense period of digitalisation, with data analysis becoming fundamental to business success. The Baltic Exchange is now developing an intelligent database to capture all this data and give a new level of visibility of all aspects of shipping activity – from location and journey routes to weather, emissions and fuel usage.
With the help of GeoSpock's state-of-the-art spatial big data platform, it will provide context to vast quantities of global maritime data from Baltic members and industry participants.
The initial focus is on maritime emissions. We're using transponder data from tankers, dry bulk vessels and container ships to give a snapshot of around 20,000 vessels on the water – and looking at the last five years of this movement data.
Feeding this information into the GeoSpock engine will enable us to create an analytical view of what type of vessel is moving between which countries, what is its speed and, over time, is the route the same, is the steaming rate the same – basically what is actually happening to that vessel. We can then overlay specification data such as engine size and emission rating to build a data picture of what those vessels represent in terms of a carbon footprint and a sulphur footprint.
We're also working on a data science algorithm to forecast a ship's deterioration. When a ship is brand new, its engine is at peak specification, its hull is clean and its performance is optimal. But over the years the hull will deteriorate from being at sea, increasing resistance, and engine performance will decline with age, leading to more carbon emissions – basically, as a ship gets older, it gets dirtier.
Our algorithm will account for all those factors and attempt to forecast the deterioration to enable ship owners to predict when a vessel needs to be scrapped.
But this is all just the tip of the iceberg – although the initial focus is on emissions, the initiative will have far-reaching benefits for all aspects of the maritime industry.