And now for something different

The f-word blog aims to offer a personal opinion, from the Fathom Editorial team, of events and trends in the developing transformation of the shipping industry.

ON 25th April in Hamburg, I am going to spend the day interviewing and talking to 13 key names that can shed light on how our maritime industry can, will and should evolve to remain at its best when it comes to enabling global trade.

This involves talking to the head of Internet of Things for Microsoft, the Chief Digital Officer at Wilh. Wilhelmsen, and a former test pilot who now works for Airbus and has a lot to say about the interface between technology and safety, and the relationship with safety.

This is the Fathom Smart Operations event in conjunction with DNV GL – an event where the audience’s voice is as important as those on the programme.

Modern society has new business tools, and a level of connectivity many now take for granted, yet when it comes to the maritime sector we seem to have retained a collective focus on tradition when it comes to the industry’s desire to use these applications to make significant improvements.

Many in the maritime industry have become comfortable seeing things done the same way for most of their careers in the industry. However, new solutions are emerging offering a new way of finding business value and competitive advantage that are inexorably changing our industry.

There is now a sudden buzz about the use of some of these tools by the maritime industry; it’s like a latecomer to the party becoming suddenly enthused with the fun.

I intend to use some of the experts on the stage of Smart Ops to ask what limits we should be considering, what lessons there are for us to heed when it comes to automation, the link between crew and technology, and what we should expect in the future. But I intend to ask the audience what path you think our industry should take.

This is not about reminiscing the use of the sextant and the noon reports, but about keeping new eyes open to the use of software and new technologies. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion.

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