On World Maritime Day shipping has been reminded to keep seafarers in mind when developing shipping technology.
The theme created by the International Maritime Organization for today’s maritime day is new technologies for greener shipping with secretary-general Kitack Lim explaining that it ought to serve to open up a larger conversation about shipping’s direction and how technology can be harnessed for a more sustainable future.
“Technological solutions for cleaner, safer and more sustainable shipping must also benefit people. In this regard, the impact on seafarers and other marine personnel, including the need for training must be considered,” Lim said in announcing the theme for today.
Two in five crewmembers working with digital technology point to shortcomings in systems design and lack of user friendliness
Speaking yesterday at an innovation forum hosted along with Norway, Lim said two key words on shipping’s path to decarbonisation are innovation and inclusivity.
“Innovation is fundamental to a successful energy transition of the maritime industry. It requires new technologies, renewable alternative fuels and infrastructure to support low- and zero-carbon shipping and new financial solutions to support all these,” Lim said, adding that innovative ecosystems are needed, created through research and development partnerships involving the private sector.
“We need all-hands-on-deck to ensure the success of these initiatives,” Lim said, stressing that this all needs to be done in the most inclusive way possible.
Shipmanager association InterManager emphasised yesterday the importance of keeping seafarers in mind when implementing digital solutions and new ways of working at sea.
Kuba Szymanski, InterManager secretary-general, commented: “The maritime community is right to embrace new ways of operating which lead to cleaner, greener and more sustainable shipping and protect our marine environments for many generations to come. We must also ensure that we don’t lose sight of those who operate our ships and bring them with us on this green journey, ensuring that the technology we install is safe to use, that proper training regimes are developed, and that operating procedures are updated accordingly.”
A recent report published by sat comm giant Inmarsat in association with UK consultancy Thetius warned that two in five crewmembers working with digital technology at sea today point to shortcomings in systems design and lack of user-friendliness, extending a long-held gripe by many working at sea who complain that shipping has not been especially good at asking the users of its assets – the seafarers – how to improve designs to make technology onboard more user friendly.