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Technology will help shipping become greener and more efficient

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Deputy Minister of Shipping Vasilis Demetriades stressed the importance of digital technology for the maritime sector during his speech at the CSN Cyprus Shipping ICT Conference in Limassol on Thursday.

“This conference goes at the heart of the challenges and recent developments in the shipping industry and both the government and the deputy ministry salute that fact, that is why I am here,” the deputy minister said.

The conference included discussions revolving around digitalisation, cybersecurity, digital technologies specifically designed to promote decarbonisation, e-learning and crew welfare.

“We need to develop digital technology in order to simplify procedures, to make shipping more efficient in its operation, while at the same time use it to facilitate the industry’s decarbonisation and green transition,” Demetriades said.

The deputy minister reminded attendees that 14 of the 35 actions contained within the recently-unveiled national shipping strategy are related to digital technology.

The government’s long-term national shipping strategy was officially presented on Tuesday, October 12.

Titled SEA Change 2030, the strategy covers 35 actions in total, revolving around three core pillars: sustainability, extroversion and adaptability.

Deputy Minister of Shipping Vasilis Demetriades
Deputy Minister of Shipping Vasilis Demetriades

“With the actions we announced, we are ready to substantially support any initiatives, by both shipping companies and the wider shipping sector, that help develop smart and innovative ideas for digital shipping,” Demetriades said.

Director General of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber Thomas Kazakos also spoke at the conference, saying that the maritime sector is still facing challenges stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Kazakos noted that despite that fact climate-related concerns are still the biggest issue for shipping companies.

“The pandemic has caused the shipping industry to reassess the way it operates and hasten its transition towards digital processes and Smart Shipping, while the need for investment in technology and innovation is also apparent so that companies can move forward in an increasingly competitive and fluctuating climate,” Kazakos said.

In regards to Kazakos’ reference to Smart Shipping, this broadly means the primarily autonomous operation of inland vessels or seagoing ships.

Moreover, It also includes not only technologies used onboard the aforementioned vessels, but also the thinking behind the creation of ports and waterways so that a vessel can guide itself without manual input or prompt the crew to take any action.

This is facilitated through the use of data collection and special sensors installed at key points in ports and waterways.

“The transition to digital technology is directly linked to the environmental challenges facing the industry and to this end, the two sectors should work together for green and digital shipping,” Kazakos concluded.

The conference was hosted by Cyprus Shipping News and was under the auspices of the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry.

It was also supported by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, Cyprus Union of Shipowners, Cyprus Marine Club, CYMEPA, WISTA Cyprus, YoungShip Cyprus, The Nautical Institute and AMMITEC of Greece.

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