DNV GL's Vision for the Future of Shipping

The ReVolt: DNV GL has developed a concept for an unmanned, zero-emission, shortsea vessel.

By MarEx 2016-04-10 19:19:44

DNV GL published its Technology Outlook report for 2025 last week. In the report, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of Maritime, has outlined his vision for the future of shipping:

In my vision of the future for shipping I see an industry that is still at the heart of global trade, bringing people together, and keeping the world’s economy vital and growing. But the industry itself, the vessels, the infrastructure, and the systems that connect them could change substantially.

The biggest change will be the way ships are powered. The world’s modern fleet will rely on a broader range of fuels and propulsion solutions. On the long haul trades, we could see a move toward dual-fuel engines, or pure gas fuelled, as well as other gases like ethane, and newly developed renewable biofuels becoming a part of the mix.

The use of batteries to complement main engines will also grow, to smooth power delivery, drive auxiliary systems, and maximize engine efficiency. In some sectors, such as ferries and coastal vessels, the trend could even be toward vessels powered completely or largely by electricity.

Connectivity between ship and shore will have vastly improved and will be much more common. The fleet of the future will be continually communicating with its managers and perhaps even with a “traffic control” system that is continually monitoring vessel positions, maneuvers and speeds.

Fleet managers will be able to analyze this data, enabling them to advise the captain and crew on navigation, weather patterns, fuel consumption, and port arrival. This will help to reduce the risks of human error leading to accidents, increase cost efficiency, and help to improve environmental performance.

Some of these data will also be shared. Ports will use the data to help them plan and optimize loading and unloading. Classification societies will analyze the data to check on the status of machinery and hull, letting the owners and operators know when a survey is required based on the condition of the systems, helping them to reduce downtime and avoid unnecessary maintenance.

At DNV GL we are excited to be a part of this coming transformation. We will continue to work with stakeholders across the maritime world to realize the potential of our industry and make sure that the outlook for shipping tomorrow is brighter than today.

The report is available here.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.