Digitisation is gaining traction in the maritime industry as indicated by the increasing use of and demand for satellite communication and data services. According to a new report by Trusted Business Insights, the market for maritime satellite communication was valued at $2.64 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8.9 per cent from 2019 to 2025.
According to Joel Box, sales manager at the maritime analytics and AIS company, GateHouse Maritime, the demand for satellite communication services is partially driven by a growing interest in data, which is critical to the ongoing digital transformation of the maritime industry.
Data services provide users with unprecedented analytical capabilities. With the right data, shipping companies can, for example, create a comprehensive, operational maritime overview, manage fuel consumption, predict ETAs and cut operational costs while ports can use data to assess risks and improve safety in the port area.
Originally, AIS was used as a collision avoidance tool. Now, the uses of AIS data have expanded and evolved significantly. The general digital transformation has raised the demand for data services that provide instant access to the information that AIS data contains – a demand we believe will only grow stronger in the future.
According to Mr Box, the increasing demand for data services demonstrates how the digital transformation in the maritime industry is gradually maturing:
- At the beginning of the digital transformation, most shipping companies, ports, and coastal authorities built their own software systems which involved significant costs in terms of developing, managing, and supporting the applications and data repositories. But as the industry has matured in terms of digital capability, and the solutions have become more advanced, the maritime industry has gradually turned to software and data service solutions that offer more advanced data analytics, and a higher level of flexibility.
- The next step for many maritime companies is to initiate a wider system integration across the organisations’ software solutions. In this way, the management and distribution of data in a given company’s supply chain can be automated which will significantly increase data efficiency.