CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero APRILE 2020
REPORT EXAMINES MARITIME DIGITALIZATION IN JAPAN
A new study, 'A quiet revolution - the maritime innovation
ecosystem in Japan', explores the commitments to Internet of Things
(IoT)-based ship and crew management already made by corporate
Japan, then goes on to offer unique insights into the country's
emerging start-up culture.
The report, sponsored by Inmarsat is the first in a series of
in-depth profiles into maritime technology and startups in specific
countries. It builds on 'Trade 2.0: How startups are driving the
next generation of maritime trade', a global study launched by
Inmarsat in 2019 during London International Shipping Week.
Both studies are the work of renowned maritime experts Nick
Chubb (MNI*) and Leonardo Zangrando (MSc, MBA). Nick Chubb is a
former seafarer and Founder and Director of Thetius Maritime
Innovation Intelligence. Leonardo Zangrando is a Naval Architect and
Founder and Managing Director of Startup Wharf Ltd, an Independent
Global Hub of Startup-driven Maritime Transformation.
"We are delighted to be the key sponsor of this latest
report," says Ronald Spithout, President of Inmarsat Maritime.
"It offers a perceptive insight into the status of Japan's
growing maritime digitalization in 2020."
Japan's three largest global shipping carriers - K Line, Mitsui
OSK Line and NYK Line - are users of Inmarsat Fleet Xpress services,
Spithout points out. All three companies are also committed to
ground-breaking data sharing projects to enable optimized vessel
performance, manned autonomous ships and decarbonization.
K Line has worked with Kawasaki Heavy Industries developing a
ship performance optimization platform to manage biofouling,
optimize trim, and to reduce crew workload. MOL joined the National
Maritime Research Institute and Furuno Electric Co. to develop
augmented reality for navigation support for 21 very large crude
carriers (VLCC). While NYK has developed its onboard IoT platform
with Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI), Nippon Telegraph and
Telephone and NTT Data.
"Partnerships have been the bedrock for digitalization in
Japan. As the leading provider of high-speed maritime broadband
connectivity via Fleet Xpress, we work closely with the large
corporate enterprises pushing the technological envelope. However,
this new report highlights other important relationships that are
also shaping Japan's digital future," says Spithout, "including
those outside of conventional networks, such as the E5 Lab on
autonomous vessels, the Ship Data Centre and the Maritime Innovation
Earlier this year, Inmarsat began working with Ship Data Center
(ShipDC), set up by the classification society, ClassNK. ShipDC
promotes the initiative "Internet of Ships Open Platform
(IoS-OP)" to integrate operational data from multiple fleets.
ONE uses the IoS-OP to share data with K Line, MOL and NYK
respectively across the ONE container fleet, improving fleet
performance benchmarking. Finnish data analysis specialist NAPA
became the first solution provider to join the IoS-OP, offering ship
and voyage optimization services. NAPA is also a Certified
Application Provider for the Fleet Xpress IoT platform for shipping
"Now is an ideal moment for a report exploring the way
Japanese maritime stakeholders are engaging in new partnerships,
including with startups outside Japan," adds Spithout. Typical
is NYK Line's work with Transnational Diversified Group Maritime and
startup MarcoPay to enable electronic seafarer salary payments
direct to phones. Spithout also cites work by startup Sensetime with
MOL on image-based collision avoidance and the creation of Symphony
Creative Solutions by NYK Group, Weathernews, and Kozo Keikaku
Engineering to help Singaporean startups engage with Japanese
"We have also seen the Japanese government attempting to
grow the local startup ecosystem through its J-Startup programs,
resulting in rising interest from local and international venture
investors," adds Spithout. "Japan's maritime technology
sector is worth $8.8 billion today and is projected as growing to
$15.8billion in value by 2030*. Clearly, with innovation remaining
the priority, Fleet Xpress connectivity, Fleet Connect and the Fleet
Data IoT platform will be key enablers for corporates, their
partners and startups alike."
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