SMECHow labour shortage is affecting the marine sector and...

How labour shortage is affecting the marine sector and how Automation in the marine industry can be a solution?


Automation in the Marine Industry

The maritime industry is the industry that carries out 80 percent, of the world’s transportation. So this industry plays a major role in all of our lives, and also it plays a significant role in the global economy. Ships are the major means of transportation and if there is a shortage of manpower in this sector then it would badly affect the operation in this sector. Logistics plays important role in the marine sector. Manpower is required for the loading and unloading of goods. For the past few years, there have been a significant decrease in manpower in this industry and the major reason for this is the pandemic. During the pandemic period, there was very little manpower in ports.

The pandemic is the major reason for the labor shortage and also during the pandemic period online marketing has evolved a lot. Transportation of goods became an important part of online marketing. Due to this, there were several cargo ships in ports which are required to be unloaded. To solve this problem Automation can be utilized. Manpower is required to unload the goods in the cargo ships but due to a shortage of manpower technology is utilized to carry out the unloading.

How the shortage of workers will affect the shipping industry?

  • Because of the labor shortage wages should be increased so that more people would come for this job. This increase in labor would increase transportation and production costs too.
  • If there are fewer employees in the port then the remaining employees should work hard and due to this the quality of the work would be decreased and the chances of error would be high too.
  • Due to the less manpower, the whole operation would take more time than it actually requires and this would affect the transportation
  • There would be a huge loss in the transportation and logistics sector due to the lack of manpower.
  • The lack of manpower in the ports would make a huge impact on the global economy

How Automation can be a solution to the labor shortage problems?

As we know a lot of industries have been automated. Automation can solve the loading and unloading problems in the port. In order to complete this task human assistance is required and in this way, we can handle the shortage of manpower. Right now there are several automated robots and these robots can be utilized to carry out the loading and unloading of goods in the ports. As we can see in industrial automation several software and sensors are required to carry out this process.

Autonomous robots are utilized in the warehouse to transport the goods. So the initial cost to implement all these will be high, but after that everything can be easily carried out.

AI in Automation 2
Automation in marine industry

How AI can be useful in the maritime industry?

Most industries are utilizing AI to carry out their industrial operations. AI is utilized in the logistics sector. We can improve the quality of operations in the maritime industry by implementing AI in several operations. AI can be utilized to do several tedious and repetitive tasks in the maritime industry. While utilizing manpower to carry out repetitive tasks the quality of the work will be affected, so during this situation, we can utilize AI.

What are the advantages of utilizing Automation and AI in the marine industry?

Decision-making can be improved a lot by utilizing AI in the marine industry. Hideous tasks can be easily completed if we are utilizing automation in the marine sector. We can develop smart ships by implementing AI and Automation in the ships. Human errors can be reduced by utilizing Automation in the marine industry.

Data Analytics

Advanced data analysis can be carried out to take important decisions in this sector by analyzing the previous data in the marine industry thus profit can be increased by this.

Intelligent Equipment

Automation and AI can be seen in the marine industry after a few years. Machine learning will play a major role in determining the course of the ship. Another advantage of utilizing Automation in the marine industry is that preventive maintenance can be done. So faults can be prevented by analyzing the data and due to this less maintenance.

Security and Safety

Automation in the marine industry will provide better safety and security for the whole operation in the marine industry. We can determine several faults and problems in the operational process with the help of AI and Automation.

Performance can be improved

By utilizing several data we can improve the performance of the vessel. Data plays an important role in this. Data can be utilized to determine the safe route for the vessel and this will be really useful. Several geographical data can be utilized to do the container routing.

Cost reduction

As we discussed earlier we can prevent several faults before they could even arise. So the maintenance cost can be reduced. Automation in the marine industry will change several processes in the marine sector such as analyzing the data, loading and unloading the goods, and choosing the best route for the vessel. AI and Automation in the marine industry will reduce the fuel consumption of ships. Pollution can be reduced while utilizing Automation in the vessel.

Risks in Ports can be Reduced

Automation and AI will be really useful to prevent accidents in the busiest ports. Traffic control can be easily done by using AI in the ports and vessels. Immediate warning will be given to the crew in the vessel to prevent accidents in the port.

What are the major factors that should be considered while utilizing Automation in the marine industry?

  • Security of data
  • Data integration
  • We don’t have many skilled professionals in this sector
  • Proper data analysis is required
  • Digitalizing the maritime industry will be really costly
  • Digital transformation will take some time
  • Not every operation can be carried out by utilizing automation

Author – Ashlin A J

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