Page 13 - 2021 - Q4 - Minerva in Focus
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Human resources and new


                                           competencies are needed to


                                           enable digitalization without losing

                                           required engineering competencies


                                           and seamanship





        Shipping  is  undergoing  tremendous   engine room, computer-based diagnostic   A modern engine room is packed with elec-
        changes to tackle the safety and envi-  and maintenance systems assist engineers   tronics. Engine monitoring systems offer
        ronment-related  challenges  of  our  in-  in operating advanced and smart engines.   the possibility to know about the engine’s
        dustry. The two fundamental pillars to   Smart port technologies contribute to   health  and  plan  its  maintenance  accord-
        do this are human resources and smart   eliminating waiting and ship downtime and   ingly. In parallel, all this data is increasingly
        technology, i.e., digitalization.  the efficient structuring of logistic chains.   transferred  to  shore,  positively  affecting
                                           In combination, all this evolution will inev-  the ship and entire fleet’s safety, environ-
                                           itably lead to autonomous ships.   mental performance, and efficiency.
        Nowadays, smart ships and advanced ΙΤ   It goes without saying that this new work   Given all of the above and the typical sea-
        and communications are a reality, so the   environment needs new workers with   farer’s profile, it is rather difficult to un-
        rather conservative shipping industry   additional  skills.  Additional,  not  new   derstand how experience can be effective-
        must  adapt  to a  digital  way of  thinking.   skills, because the fact that a ship’s op-  ly combined with theoretical electronics
        There is a demand for a new generation of   erations mainly mean hard practical work   knowledge. Until now, maritime education
        highly skilled mariners who possess key   combined with training, experience, and   has focused primarily on practical training
        digital and soft management skills but   dedication should not be underestimated.   and hands-on experience on board. That
        retain the traditional attitudes that made   Regarding digitalization, it is evident that   needs to change towards a more academic
        Greek shipping so strong: all those special   relevant skills such as those supporting   education. With the constant flow of new
        characteristics included in the concept of   business development and technology utili-  technologies  introduced  in  the  shipping
        “seamanship.”                      zation will be an essential part of seafarers’   industry, which are not exclusively re-
        Today, the crew requires deep theoretical   education. Connectivity, the IoT, common   lated to electronics and digitalization,
        knowledge  and  familiarity  with  digital   freight broker platforms, and e-commerce   the profile of the future seafarer should
        equipment. In contrast, traditional seafar-  will simplify the supply chain and reduce   change radically. The new captain, chief
        er skills are passed down from generation   paperwork. Autonomous and advanced   officer, chief engineer, and even the bosun
        to generation and are learned from their   onboard support systems are constantly   and ranks should understand safety and
        first years on board. Does the one skill set   evolving, although crewless ships are not   environmental regulations and handle
        preclude the acquisition of the other, or   expected to become a large-scale reality   technically advanced equipment without
        can they be combined? The future seafar-  in the coming decades. However, complex   losing the traditional virtues that are the
        er must definitely have both.      autonomous systems are currently a chal-  cornerstone of the ship’s operation.
        After the initial reluctance of the first few   lenge for crews. Special skills are required   To this end, maritime education and train-
        years, digital technologies are finding their   to interact with such computer IT and   ing should be enriched, retaining, however,
        way onto ships, massively transforming   communication systems. Crews need basic   the necessary practical training onboard.
        the  ship’s operations. The bridge, engine   electronics knowledge and an in-depth   Meanwhile, today’s ship crews will need
        room, and deck are fully equipped with   understanding of the systems on board to   ongoing training to provide them with the
        electronics, which, together with the enor-  support their operation and take advantage   skills required to interact with computer
        mous advances made in IT and commu-  of their abilities safely and efficiently.  systems and understand and analyze data
        nication technologies, shape an entirely   Moving on to the bridge, we find control   received from communication and IT sys-
        new work environment for both the crews   centers that monitor vessel positions,   tems. Since critical situations on modern
        and the shore staff of a shipping company.   maneuvers, speed, fuel consumption,   ships are largely dealt with by electronic
        Almost all of a seaman’s routine tasks at   and handling/load conditions. Captains,   aids, it is obvious that officers and crews
        sea and in port are being undertaken by   chief  officers,  and  shore-side  fleet  oper-  should have the respective skills.
        computer-based applications. Even in the   ators have to analyze this data to extract   Our seafarers’ traditional values like ded-
                                           useful  information  like  voyage  planning,   ication, love for the sea, and seamanship,
                                           timely  arrival,  weather  routing,  and  fuel   have made the Greek-owned merchant
        by VENLYS Maritime                 consumption.                       fleet dominant globally.
        Specialization Services



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