The offshore industry

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The complex offshore industry is continually changing and adapting in order to meet the needs of the commercial marketplace. As a result of the digital era, where the technology revolution has been extensive, we have put together a useful post detailing how technologies can produce a highly technical and sophisticated offshore industry which is more efficient, greener, safer, and better prepared for the future.

1.Safe Navigation at Sea

With a vast oceanic area in which many marine creatures coexist, the potential for accidents, and variations in those accidents are numerous. So, when it comes to shipping safety, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) has contributed significantly to navigation safety. 

What is AIS?

AIS is a prime shipping safety technology that acts like a radar showing you other nearby ships’ movements that may be hidden from visual sight, behind obstacles or land formations. This technology is particularly useful for avoiding collisions when crossing traffic lanes in congested shipping areas and when visibility is poor.

Related: 7 things you should know about AIS

Over half a million vessels use AIS to transmit their location

By combining data from satellite and land-based receivers, a worldwide network can be created that collects, shares and interprets the information broadcast by each ship, allowing for predictive analytics and vessel traffic, helping to improve safety at sea.

The offshore industry

MarineTraffic operates 3,500 AIS stations that cover 165 countries and record at least 800 million vessel positions. The MarineTraffic Product team is continuously updating its tools in order to provide top-notch services to over six million users. Amongst others, such services include viewing the route forecast of a vessel along with the weather forecast, monitoring vessels as they transit through ‘’Piracy Zones’’ and visualising a vessel’s past track.

2. Investigate Shipping Accidents

Shipping accidents occur regularly. After an accident has occurred, historic AIS data can provide positional and navigational information for the vessels involved, as well as for those nearby, such as if the area was busy or quiet. This information can then be used to cross-check and either dispute or support witness statements. To date, AIS data has been used in numerous legal cases, investigations, and negotiations.

The offshore industry

3.Green Shipping

‘’Go Green’’ is the trend for any industry. The offshore industry is no exception.

As IMO 2020 (Sulphur Cap Regulation) is approaching, ship operators and owners must plan ahead on how to cut their sulphur oxide emissions to 0.5% from 1 January 2020. The aim of this action is to substantially reduce air pollutants from ships.

International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been taking bold action to clean up shipping emission by reducing the sulphur content in ships’ fuel oil to 0.5%m/m from 3.5%m/m

There are currently numerous technologies on the market helping to embrace a greener shipping industry. One example of this technology is the new generation of slow speed two-stroke engines designed to improve vessel performance, generating fewer emissions. Another technology is Flettner Rotor that helps to reduce energy consumption The offshore industry.

As the global ship tracking intelligence company, MarineTraffic is a founding member of the IMO and has been leading the industry towards a more eco-friendly future. They take sustainability in shipping to the next level by optimising ship voyages from berth to berth, rather than the standard routing services, resulting in much lower fuel consumption and emissions.

Related: If you haven’t seen Voyage Planner yet, check out this handy feature here and see how you can visualise your voyage

By obtaining AIS data from MarineTraffic, operators and owners can generate more ideas to help plan for greener shipping. Take the average speed of vessels as an example; an irregular speed causes higher fuel consumption and emissions, acting as an important signal for ship owners to take action like inspecting the vessel or replacing old parts. AIS technology can also contribute to a greener port by optimising electricity and lighting use in the berthing areas.

Read more: How to achieve a reduction of 23% in vessel emissions? 

4. Maritime Safety Planning along with Weather Forecast

According to the Hamburg headquartered International Union of Marine Underwriters (IUMI), “around 50% of the world’s total losses are caused by bad weather’’

Technology can make a real difference in this. AIS goes beyond monitoring a vessel’s information such as speed, position and destination. Application Specific Messages (ASM) can also be added to the AIS message, making AIS a valuable platform for exchanging critical shipping information such as weather, current levels and waves.

AIS technology allows vessels to receive proper warnings, allowing them to avoid hazardous seas and major storm events. On MarineTraffic platform, by enabling the route forecast of a vessel with enabled weather maps, you can visualise the vessel’s future position along with the weather forecast during every stage of her voyage.

5.Make Better Predictions

Over 22% of commercial vessels are arriving at their destination a day later than planned 

Not able to get an accurate ETA is a very common issue among professionals in the offshore industry. It goes without saying that the more accurate an ETA is, the better it is. Improved accuracy of data helps customers and businesses make more informed decisions, have smarter preparation and improved operations.

As the world’s largest and most extensive coastal network of AIS receivers, MarineTraffic combines satellite AIS data with high-resolution data from MarineTraffic coastal stations, providing the most comprehensive coverage of the global shipping fleet. It also enables you to have access to more precise data including ETA.

Compared to traditional reported ETA, MarineTraffic calculates, or specifically recalculates ETA using regular updates on vessels based on AIS data, past voyages and shipping lanes during a dynamic process. A more reliable arrival time can be provided from MarineTraffic whereas a reported ETA hinges human errors and is not updated frequently.

MarineTraffic also gets involved closely with how a ship interacts with a terminal in order to improve dock occupancy and create tighter time windows for delivery of services, aiming to positively impact stakeholders and society in many areas.

Related: Download the guide to calculated ETA  

6.Improve Ship Design

Virtual Reality (VR) is already playing a growing role in providing designers with the opportunity to experiment and try different internal layouts for ships and also to test other aspects such as people movement for passenger ships and fire evacuation procedures.

3D models of ships can be converted into VR allowing designers to ‘walk through’ the structure and to better understand how all of the different elements of the design will work together.

With a powerful database combining the past, present and future into one place, MarineTraffic is committed to creating a more transparent and efficient shipping industry, while also encouraging users to evolve their marine projects.

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