How to convince a shipowner to spend money

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There are two ways to convince a shipowner to spend money. Either because there is either a proven financial return on the investment, or it is needed for regulatory compliance. For IoT, regulatory compliance is a key driver of uptake in the short term, but there is also a huge opportunity for shipowners who invest in the tech to see financial returns from its implementation.

In January 2018 the EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification scheme came into force for individual voyages. This means that all ships have to submit verified emissions data to the European Maritime Safety Agency for each voyage they undertake within the EU.

On the 1st of January 2020 a global cap on the sulphur content of emissions will come into force meaning that ships will either need to burn low sulphur fuels such as marine gas oil or install scrubbers to clean their exhaust gasses. Either way, the need for ships to properly monitor and verify their exhaust gas content will be compounded.

Looking further ahead, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee recently set out a strategy to halve the greenhouse gas emissions of the world fleet by 2050 and put a long term plan in place to reduce industry emissions to zero.

This sprawling regulatory picture, coupled with a growing business need for better visibility of operations at sea makes IoT the natural technological investment of choice for shipowners and operators around the world. Indeed, a recent study conducted by Inmarsat found that 75% of shipowners plan to deploy IoT solutions in the next 18 months.  According to the report, over the next three years, the average shipowner plans to spend £2.5m on IoT implementation over the next three years.

Five startups in the space

There are a growing number of companies operating in maritime IoT offering services across five main areas: vessel tracking, emissions control, predictive maintenance, supply chain visibility, and safety and welfare. Read full report here