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The 4 Biggest Threats For The Maritime Industry of Tomorrow

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

The average daily data consumption per vessel increased from 3.4 to 9.8 GB between January 2020 and March 2021.

Incoherent data, anticipated economic slowdowns due to the pandemic, increasingly stringent regulatory frameworks and cyberthreats are the main challenges maritime and shipping companies need to adress in the near future.

The era of chit-chatting in Loyd’s coffee houses and literally listing vessels and their cargoes arriving at the Pool of London has long been gone. Today is the era of mass digitization, and the maritime industry is already going with the 'digital' flow.

The numbers say it all. In 2021, the deal flow of investments in digital technologies increased by 85% in the maritime industry, while by the end of 2022, the adoption of digital technology will be three years ahead of previous estimates.

The COVID-19 crisis has acted as a catalyst. The average daily data consumption per vessel increased from 3.4 to 9.8 GB between January 2020 and March 2021. Digitization gained momentum and according to data, the rapid acceleration of companies' digital transformation is not slowing down.

PwC’s 2021 annual CEO survey found that nearly half of CEOs plan to significantly increase their rate of digital investment (by 10% or more) over the next three years as a result of the pandemic.

In this context, the four biggest threats the companies in the maritime industry will face are the following:

  1. Incomplete or incoherent data leading to inaccurate industry perceptions and reputational damage

  2. Exposure to anticipated global economic slowdowns as a result of the pandemic

  3. Increasingly stringent regulatory environments

  4. Cyber threats

Spreadsheets don’t work anymore

For decades, spreadsheets have dominated data analytics in maritime and shipping. Business analysts have been using “data” to examine, for example, the fuel efficiency of a fleet of ships and to recommend plans of action. But there is a practical limit to that. Spreadsheets don’t go over about 1 million rows, which is a lot of data indeed, but it is not “big data”.

Big data platforms can aggregate, save and analyze petabytes of data at once. But how big is a petabyte? To put it in perspective, 1 petabyte of storage space could hold 11,000 4k movies. With an average run time of 2 hours, it would take over 2.5 years of nonstop binge watching to get through a petabyte’s worth of 4k movies.

There is no longer any technical hurdle in mass data aggegation, storage and analysis.

Why aggregate and analyze the fuel data of a few ships when it is technically possible to analyze the fuel data of more than 50,000 ships in the global commercial fleet?

Technology has always gone forward, and ships have always slowly adapted, but the pace of global digital transformation is now so fast that shipping companies not investing in big data are in danger of being left behind by competitors.

“Ensuring enough quantity and quality of human resources is pivotal in developing the use of Big Data solutions”, say Dimitrios Kyriakatis & Efthimios Vafeiadis, founders of Workearly Business, a pioneering online platform specializing in providing targeted training plans according to actual market demands.

Upskilling, an urgent priority

However, there is a shortage of data-skilled scientists that needs to be addressed. Many organizations have already recognized the need to address their data fluency skill gaps. A McKinsey survey of over a thousand businesses from various industries found that the most pressing skill gap to be addressed was data analytics. 43% of respondents mentioned it as the most urgent priority when it comes to upskilling.

Investing in data fluency upskilling is paying off. 70% of organizations that invested in upskilling efforts are reporting positive business impacts that exceed initial investment in upskilling, according to another McKinsey survey.

The era of customization is here. The new way of doing things.

But, why settle for generic training services when you can implement a solution tailored to meet the needs of your industry?

Workearly Business specializes in shaping customized digital transformation plans. Its large network of experienced software engineers, project managers, data analysts and HR professionals delivers tailor based, result oriented education and aligns training with your business KPIs and OKRs.


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