Inmarsat Offers Unique Maritime IoT Insights

UK-based shipping technology provider Inmarsat has said that the maritime industry is more amenable to adopting analytic, management and operational tools applied through the Internet of Things (IoT) than many commentators have supposed.

The company released ‘Industrial IoT: Maritime’ last week during Posidonia 2018. It is part of the Inmarsat Research Programme 2018, which provides a cross-sectoral study on digitalisation in the global supply chain and is due for publication on June 26th.

The report was based on 750 interviews conducted by technology market research company Vanson Bourne. It investigated the use of, attitudes to and predictions for IoT-based solutions across the maritime, transport and logistics, energy, mining and agriculture sectors.

The 125 maritime respondents included owners from across the board in terms of fleet size, with owners from Greece making up the largest constituency (25), followed by Japan (20) and Germany (15). Ship types were spread across the container, tanker, bulker, gas, offshore and fishing vessel segments.

Inmarsat Maritime VP of Applications Sales Stein Oro said that it was “probably the most detailed account of attitudes towards the IoT ever undertaken in the maritime industry”, adding that the findings would surprise many,” “Respondents suggest that their average expenditure per business on IoT-based solutions will amount to $2.5m over the next three years. They say that IoT-based solutions will attract a larger share of their IT budgets than any other ‘next generation’ technology, while early analysis of other segments places maritime ahead of energy, agriculture and mining.”

Greek owners envisaged a substantially smaller outlay on IoT-based solutions in the period ahead, with the average investment planned for the coming three years less than 10% of the average overall. The finding was in line with overall expectations from three quarters of respondents that they would ‘fully deploy’ IoT-based solutions within 18 months, while the equivalent figure for Greek respondents was only 40%.

Owners showed themselves as upholding the maritime industry’s decade-long fixation with costs. Just over half the respondents said that revenue generation did not figure in their considerations, three-quarters said they had realized, or expected to realize, cost savings using the IoT.

Route optimisation was identified by 57% as in use or on trial.

Regulation was providing a separate prompt for adoption, with 65% of respondents saying they already used IoT-based solutions to monitor fuel consumption, rising to the 100% by 2023.

Also notable, said Inmarsat, was the influential role played by marine insurers. Cutting premiums was cited by 70% of respondents as one of the most important drivers for adoption.