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SMMEV 2020 discusses adoption of technology

During COVID-19 pandemic

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SMMEV

Day two of Seatrade Maritime Middle East Virtual 2020 (SMMEV), the region’s leading event in the shipping industry, shed light on pressing concerns that arose due to the pandemic and beyond.

key topics of discussion

Some of the key topics of discussion included the adopting of technologically-advanced tools to improve the industry’s resilience during the pandemic, and the need to employ efficient processes to achieve smart shipping. Panellists also spoke about adopting innovative clean energy solutions in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations and reduction of carbon emissions and harmful gases.

In his keynote speech before the commencement of the first session titled “Accelerating Shipping’s Clean Energy Transition”, Capt. Mohamed Al Ali, SVP Ship Management, ADNOC Logistics & Services, expressed his appreciation for the 2,000 plus seafarers working in the company who worked tirelessly throughout the different phases of the pandemic.

Commenting on adopting clean energy, he asserted, “ADNOC Logistics has delivered on its fleet expansion plans, with the addition of vessels that will ensure reach of oil and gas markets. There is no doubt that the long-term disrupters of the shipping industry are artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data. We need to embrace that because when the pandemic is over, we will still have some challenges to overcome, especially the ambitious IMO decarbonisation targets to reduce 40 per cent of carbon intensity within the next decade, and halving the greenhouse emissions by 2050.”

Al Ali added, “While maintaining the competitiveness of our fleet and investing in clean energy solutions, we have ordered our VLCCs with dual fuel capabilities to enable our vessels to burn LPG as an alternative to a cleaner fuel. In addition, we considered LNG as an option for our new build VLCCs which are due for delivery in the first quarter of 2023. Also, we specified in all our newly acquired vessels to be equipped with energy efficiency devices, enabling more efficient operations and contributing to our smart ship management strategy.”

Chris Morley, Event Director, Seatrade Maritime, said, “We are glad that the discussions held on day two provided attendees with valuable insights, regarding critical topics of clean energy and smart shipping. Speaking about these subjects is integral as they not only impact ship owners and the ship management sector directly but operations in the entire industry.”

The second and third sessions highlighted aspects including the new disruptive technologies emerging in the maritime sector such as increasing penetration of Internet of Things, setting up remote offices, enabling remote maintenance services, and adopting and incorporating cloud services.

Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO Asia, Middle East and CIS, IEC Telecom Group said, “Digitalisation, automation, and AI could add US$13 billion to global GDP by 2025, creating new business opportunities and reinvesting in the economy. The global digital market is expected to grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to about $1 trillion by 2025. The global marine industry is on the verge of investing $38.4 billion in digitalisation by 2050. That is why connectivity is the most important factor needed to enable all this transformation in the industry.”

Marc Dragon, Managing Director/CEO, Reefknot Investments said, “In 2019, there were three areas where we needed to focus in, the first was AI and Deep Tech, including predictive analytics and intelligent solutions, data management science, and planning optimisation. The second was logistics digitisation, including automation, RPA, documents automation, and things that will enable smoother flow within the supply chain.

The third area was trade finance, not only the supply chain but all other related financing aspects. But after COVID-19 struck, new aspects came up; first is supply chain visibility, especially dynamic real-time visibility. Second is resilience, of managing resources and assets in a rapidly changing environment. The third is working capital financing because most organisations started to hold their cash to make sure they can survive for the maximum time during the pandemic. That is why the industry is looking for solutions to manage all these aspects to proceed ahead and overcome the challenges towards a recovery.”

The exhibition and networking opportunities conclude today. The in-person event of Seatrade Maritime Middle East is expected to take place in 2021 at the Expo 2020 site. The hybrid event will allow for virtual interactions, allowing global businesses to work in the Middle East.-WAM

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