Shipowners should expect a Quantum Leap in IT and Automation

Leaders of shipping and innovators discuss the quantum leap in technology at the Transas conference.

Shipping should expect a quantum leap in technology adoption over the next 10 years as ships are built with more automation and IT systems. Anglo Eastern Group’s Capt Pradeep Chawla said shipowners should be training seafarers to use the technology now. He is managing director for quality, health, safety, training and the environment at the ship-management group.

Capt Chawla said greater adoption of IT technology in shipping would help the shipping sector to attract a new generation of high-tech seafarers. “I expect there will be a quantum leap in the next 10 years in technology that goes into ships,” he said at the Transas Global Conference in St. Julian, Malta. “We will need to train people now, for 10 years from now.”

However, training should not forget the traditional methods, such as teaching core navigation skills as well as operating ECDIS, said Thomas Miller P&I loss prevention advisor George Devereese.

“The technology can be fallible and crew can be surprised when there is a fault. Seafarers still need to look out of the window for situational awareness and use the instruments as an aid to navigation,” George Devereese explained.

Training expert Christian Hempstead, owner of Hempstead Maritime Training said his cadets are taught to be aware of situations outside of the technology. “It takes time to look at ECDIS and radar, and reduces time for situational awareness,” he said, adding: “They can get an understanding of this through simulation training.”

Christian Hempstead said training should provide seafarers with the knowledge of how to ask the right questions from the instruments. “We teach traditional navigation so they can ask how they can get those answers,” he added.