Maritime companies turn to technology and start-ups to improve safety

Artificial intelligence AI technology. Credit: Getty Images

The safety technology, or safetytech, market could exceed USD850 billion by 2023, with established maritime companies increasingly turning to start-ups to improve safety and provide new solutions, it was discussed at an 18 June webinar hosted by the Nautical Institute.

According to a report published by Lloyd’s Register, on 4 June, the marine industry is predicted to make up USD6.6 billion of the total being spent on safetytech; the adoption of digital technology to improve safety. Traditional shipping companies are using services provided by start-ups to promote operational efficiency and safety.

“The start-up market in the maritime sector is huge now compared to just 10 years ago, these are major disruptions that will continue to reach all aspects of the maritime world,” said Surendra Lingareddy, founder and CEO, Volteo Maritme and internet of things solutions provider, speaking at the webinar.

The start-up market is maturing at such a rapid pace that corporate development firms such as Rainmaking are outwardly promoting partnerships between start-ups and shipping companies to develop joint solutions.

“Shipping companies or ports and terminals are so specialised in operating their core business they are not meant to have AI specialists or technology entrepreneurs in-house, so working together with later stage startups/scaleups will create more traction and results more quickly,” Nicklas Viby Fursund, partner and co-founder Rainmaking, told SAS.

Lingareddy highlighted how start-ups are essential to helping with the administrative burden onboard vessels in promoting the digitalisation of paperwork. ”It is estimated seafarers spend 100 million hours on regulatory compliance and deal with billions of pages of paperwork while trying to carry out their operational duties,” he said. “If you drop the ball there will be a lot of penalties.”

Start-ups are increasingly looking at the daily lives of seafarers to ascertain where best to improve processes as well as safety. One such successful partnership, put together by Rainmaking, is between Shell and Scoutbase, a Danish scaleup dedicated to helping companies diagnose and reduce human error at sea.

To read more on start-ups and how they are set to impact maritime safety look for a feature in the August edition of SAS