The marine industry is one of the most significant and oldest sectors of the global economy. It facilitates the transportation of goods and people across the waterways, and it equally generates billions of dollars in yearly revenue. Technology has helped improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marine services, and in this blog, we will explore how technology has improved marine services, its benefits, challenges, and future.
Use of technology in improving marine services
Technology has improved marine services in the following ways:
- Navigation and Communication Technology
- Marine Equipment and Machinery
- Safety and Security Technology
1. Navigation and Communication Technology
- GPS and GIS Technology: Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology are being used to track the real-time location of ships, check their movements, and optimize and plan the routes they’ll take.
- Automated Identification System (AIS): With AIS technology, ships can be automated to exchange information with other ships. This information includes speed, location, and courses being taken, which are then used to avoid a collision, enhance navigation, and equally track the ship.
- Satellite Communication: When the ships need to communicate with the facilities onshore, satellites are used.
2. Marine Equipment and Machinery
- Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs): AUVs are robotic vehicles that work underwater without being driven by anybody. They conduct surveys underwater and collect data, to help sailors make certain decisions. And they can reach the parts of the ocean that boats and divers dare not reach.
- Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs): USVs are unmanned vehicles that operate on the surface of the ocean. They operate in harsh environments and can be used for oceanography, research, and offshore monitoring.
- Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs): With ROVs, humans can explore underwater without going there. Operated remotely from the surface, this tool can be used to inspect underwater equipment and search for lost items.
3. Safety and Security Technology
- Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB): EPIRBs help alert rescuers when emergencies occur. These devices send distress calls to a satellite, which then relays the information to the search and rescue center.
- Man Overboard Systems (MOB): These systems are used to detect when a crew member has fallen overboard, and they also give the location of the person in the water.
- Surveillance Systems: These systems help detect potential threats to ships and equally help prevent unauthorized persons from having access to them. It includes radar, cameras, and other sensors that can help in the detection process.
Benefits of technology in marine services
The use of technology in marine services has several benefits, including:
- Improved safety: Technology has significantly reduced the risk of accidents and collisions, thereby improving safety standards in the marine industry.
- Increased efficiency: Technology has enabled ships to navigate accurately and quickly, reducing travel time and fuel consumption.
- Better communication: Technology has improved communication between ships and shore-based operators, ensuring that ships are always in contact with relevant authorities.
- Cost savings: Technology has reduced the cost of marine services by improving efficiency and reducing fuel consumption.
Challenges of technology in marine services
As with most services, technology also faces different challenges in the marine system. They include:
- cost of implementing the latest technology.
- Lack of skilled personnel to operate complex technological systems and keep up with advancements.
- The vulnerability of systems to cyberattacks
While there’s still more to look forward to, technology has made it easier for a lot of changes and advancements to occur in the marine industry. With the future looking bright, the players in the marine industry should look forward to keeping abreast of the latest technologies and how to incorporate them into their operations.