The current energy crisis, rising operating and maintenance costs, an urgent need for automation, and a shortage of skilled workers force the maritime industry to adapt at an unprecedented pace. To remain relevant and viable, innovative product development will play a vital role in keeping it both competitive and sustainable. Adding risk management, alternative assessment and engineering strategies, such as fail cheap fail fast, can help effectively address these challenges and capitalize on opportunities. So let’s dive into the 4 major challenges in the maritime industry and the corresponding opportunities to overcome them.
Ancient technology with modern-day engineering to tackle the energy crisis
The maritime industry still heavily relies on fossil fuels, which account for a significant portion of its operating costs. Due to the increasing concerns over climate change and the need to reduce costs, there’s a growing demand for energy-saving solutions. This has led to new technologies like drag-reducing air lubrication systems, and the reintegration of renewable energy sources such as wind power, like equipping vessels with inflatable sails, also referred to as wings. However, before investing in any of these technologies, the industry can apply the strategy of considering options and alternatives to evaluate and deselect the least unfeasible and choose cost-effective solutions meeting the right level of risk and innovation level.
Wing sail system © Michelin
Nevertheless, it turns out that the reuse of this ancient technology in combination with modern-day engineering boosts efficiency successfully. Pioneering companies such as Michelin claim that this hybrid technology will be able to reduce fuel costs by 10 to 20% per boat. The visual below show the necessary actions the maritime industry needs to take to meet sustainability needs in the short and long-term future. As a result, the technologies mentioned before could help to reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels, decrease its carbon footprint and optimize efficiency, while also reducing noise pollution.
Sailing towards zero-emission container shipping © KPMG
Continue reading to learn about your best opportunities to reduce operating and maintenance costs, implement robotization and leverage your existing workforce.