The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, machines, objects, and living things that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over networks independently and automatically. IoT in shipping more specifically means the rapid transfer of information across a widely distributed network to enable enhanced logistical supply chain management which, in the long-run, saves money and increases efficiency in an ever-growing market.
The IoT concept has the potential to revolutionize shipping. But, this can’t be done without the continued evolution of satellite technology. The future potential scale of IoT objects will demand ubiquitous network coverage even across more remote and not-so-accessible locations, which are best served by these satellite networks.
Without the use of satellites, it would be impossible to connect users at sea; satellite technology has a key role in enabling new applications and processes to make IoT a reality onboard and offshore. Business operations that extend to geographically remote environments provide critical communications means to conduct many activities, and this can only be enhanced through satellites enabling IoT technology.
To elaborate, IoT empowers shipping to become data-driven, which is possibly the most important aspect of the market’s future ability to cope with mounting demand. Through managing and observing fleet operations, vessels can become floating hubs of valuable information from which algorithms and processes can be generated in order to maximize productivity and minimize fleet downtime. Through communication across every part of the vessel and every part of the cargo’s transport process, data can provide solutions that fill in inefficient gaps, saving costs and time.
Overall, a cluster of interconnected devices located in the sky, sea, and on land, all enable greater ability to move forwards alongside the revolutionized world of transportation and logistics. Whilst satellites offer the fundamental capability to connect globally, IoT onboard vessels opens a gateway for data-driven communication across hundreds of different devices and processes.
And as we increasingly see shipping trends finding value in digitally-enabled services, worldwide fleets will find that being data-focused provides the communication, organization, and competence to work at a faster and more efficient level. Though this shift in focus may prove difficult to manage at first, making services such as Navarino’s Quazar essential in providing a cost-effective way to acquire, install and manage a vessel’s IT infrastructure. As ship IT managers begin to undertake the huge responsibility of learning and adapting vessels to the process of digitalization and IoT onboard, Quazar harbors all responsibilities previously undertaken by the vessel’s IT manager, allowing them to ‘focus on the bigger picture’.