Vast numbers of vessel navigators are not using digital navigation and route optimisation to their fullest because of the challenges of implementing and using the technology. Shore-based management is investing in advanced voyage planning and weather routeing services, but many bridge teams are not following these optimised passages.
StormGeo vice president of shipping Svein Kåre Giskegjerde thinks an integrated approach to voyage planning, weather routeing and route optimisation in one platform will increase the uptake of these services on ships.
He estimated that half of the weather-optimised routes created by StormGeo software for 6,000 ships are not being used by navigation officers. “The investment has happened, and the technology is there, but it is not being implemented,” he told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications.
Part of the reason why 50% of calculated optimised routes are not followed is doubts over digital change on the bridge. “Even when shore-based management invests in technology it is the vessel’s crew that often needs to use it,” said Mr Giskegjerde.
Svein Kåre Giskegjerde: "The technology is there, but it is not being implemented"
“We have found that simple issues can prevent use of digital technology,” he continued. “For example, officers still like to print out a digital report; they do not have time to transfer data from one device to another via a USB memory stick; and they are worried they may not be able to install new technology themselves.”
Another hurdle is the lack of connectivity between voyage planning, route optimisation solutions and shore-based decision makers. “This results in inefficiencies and inadequate fuel savings,” said Mr Giskegjerde.
Other challenges impacting deploying digital voyage services on bridges include losing connection at sea preventing chart or software updates, and transferring data via a USB stick risking bridge systems being infected with malware.
Mr Giskegjerde thinks an integrated approach to digital can overcome these hurdles. “We have developed ways that technologies can work together seamlessly across bridge and shore operations to create synergies,” he explained.