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ICS study examines the impact of autonomous shipping

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a new study, conducted on its behalf by the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA), examining the potential impact of autonomous ships on the role of seafarers and the global shipping industry.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The research includes an assessment of the risks and opportunities created by digitalisation in global logistics chains, as well as through digitalisation and automation of ship operations.

ICS says that the findings suggest that the role of personnel on board and ashore will need to be redefined as the industry evolves, both operationally and legally. Reviewing and understanding how these roles may evolve is also identified in the study as an important aspect to address the impact of autonomous ships on the role of seafarers.

“The two-year IMO regulatory scoping exercise for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships is now well underway to determine how existing IMO instruments can be leveraged to ensure that autonomous ships are safe, secure, and environmentally sound,” said ICS secretary general, Guy Platten.

“This a complex task, expected to impact several areas under IMO’s purview, and while it is recognised that clear opportunities might arise for the shipping industry which may not exist today, much more work must be done, particularly on the regulatory side and to address concerns about the impact of MASS on seafarers employed worldwide.”

“Encouragingly, the study indicates that there will be no shortage of jobs for seafarers, especially officers, in the next two decades. While the size of crews may evolve in response to technological changes on board, there may also be considerable additional jobs ashore which require seafaring experience.”

The full report is available from the ICS website.{/mprestriction}

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