SMART ships will continue to be the driving force for the new decade as technology puts the control and management of shipping onto a new level and there is no stopping this and nor should there be, according to Panos Kirnidis, CEO of Palau International Ship Registry (PISR).
The registry has been developing its own unique technologies for its fleet and this is one of the reasons it was called the fastest growing registry in the world in 2017. Panos Kirnidis believes there is still some reticence to accept technology by some registries.
“There is no escaping technology in shipping and we believe it is essential that everything we do with shipping comes from technology. We have taken a strong position in supporting increasing use of technology and blending this to work with people in the shipping world. Paper chats and certificates have long gone and everyone needs to adopt a smarter and more accessible way of working because there are real benefits to be gained.”
PISR has been at the forefront of an IT drive and Panos Kirnidis recognises the threats of cyber-security as an even stronger reason to adopt robust and reliable IT systems.
“Rather than shy away from technology and become fearful of increasing hacking and related cyber-crimes, the shipping world need to work together to demonstrate that we have the solutions. Technology is much more than just security for ships: it’s also about operational excellence both for shipping operations and the way in which seafarers behave in everyday work situations. We must not forget that the role of the human in shipping is still very much a part of the world.
“We have a Deficiency Prevention System (DPS) operating through a dedicated department monitoring all Palau ships so they can reduce deficiency and casualty rates. I want to see more technology adopted to ensure the maritime sector remains safety and environmentally compliant. We are not in an age of full autonomous operation – and even when that arrives we will still need seafarers in one capacity or another – but we are on the cusp of sailing into an IT shipping world that will benefit us all and we must grab these opportunities now.”