How maritime connectivity and new technologies are enabling the global shipping industry to decarbonise
25 August 2023

How maritime connectivity and new technologies are enabling the global shipping industry to decarbonise

25 August 2023

Our maritime connectivity team was very interested to read this recent interview between McKinsey, the global management consultancy, and the COO of ZeroNorth, which “uses data to help shipping companies become more efficient and, by extension, greener”.  

In Logistics Disruptors: Data-driven insights for greener shipping, ZeroNorth discusses how it is helping shipping companies to reduce their fuel consumption by using data, analytics and AI; last year it apparently helped prevent more than 440,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted by the 4000+ ships of its 150+ customers.

ZeroNorth has developed a number of products including:

  • “an AI-enabled fuel model that’s basically a digital twin of the vessel. It’s able to predict with high accuracy the fuel consumption of the vessel at any given speed, at any given RPM, with any given draft, in any weather, at any point around the world”
  • The ability to measure “the efficiency of various vessel components—such as the hull, the propeller, the boiler, and the auxiliary engine—to more concretely identify actions that can be taken to improve (a) vessel’s performance”
  • A “voyage optimisation solution, which helps gauge how best to get from point A to point B while keeping the ship’s crew safe, maximizing the financial outcome, and minimizing emissions”
  • ZeroNorth connects these products into a single analytics platform to “deliver a single source of truth to its customers on a fleet’s fuel consumption, conditions, positions, availability, and weather”.

The shipping industry has a reputation of being conservative in its adoption of new technologies. ZeroNorth says that “conservatism relates to keeping the performance of the business up and keeping people safe at sea…(shipping companies) can’t just try any tool. They need to build trust in it and see that it’s working”.

Our maritime connectivity experts are all impressed with ZeroNorth’s offering. The shipping industry is complex, as we all saw during COVID when ships were backlogged and the global supply chain disrupted but clearly needs to both modernise – and decarbonise.

Telecom26 and our maritime connectivity service

Key to enabling captains and crew to make changes on their vessel is fast and reliable maritime connectivity to receive the data and insights identified by ZeroNorth in real-time. According to ZeroNorth, Captains will “ask if they should go around an island using a different route” or “if there’s data showing that the condition of the hull has changed in a way that’s making the vessel consume more fuel than expected”.

Providing maritime connectivity for vessels of all sizes from leisure yachts, fishing boats, container ships and other vessels - and the devices, crew and passengers on-board, is one of Telecom26’s core competencies.  Our maritime connectivity service keeps vessels - and the people and devices onboard online - as they travel around the world.

We also provide connectivity to inland ports and rivers as many shipping companies need connectivity on-land as well as maritime connectivity to monitor freight as it moves out of and into a port.

We're starting to see interest in eSIM for devices onboard vessels too, as the virtual SIM evolution continues to gather pace.

Our maritime connectivity services currently include:

  • A full Cellular At Sea service for vessels of all sizes
  • A Nearshore Connectivity Service - This blog “Nearshore Connectivity - perfect for vessels up to 30km off the coast”discusses how most ships and vessels spend the majority (up to 60%) of their time in port or in coastal waters. They are therefore within range of land-based cellular networks which can provide coverage to vessels as far out as 30km. So, instead of relying on costly satellite for data or connectivity, vessels – and the people on-board - can use these cellular networks.
  • Networks for personal communications, onboard. You can read more about this here: Mobile Private Networks for Cruise Ships and the Merchant Navy
  • A Maritime IoT Service including private networks on-board vessels, oil rigs and platforms – and supply chain tracking

Our global and maritime connectivity services offer:

  • Our own network core and operational assets leveraging relationships with more than 1100 network connections and 650 mobile operators across over 200 countries to secure unrivalled global coverage.
  • A full range of telecom services and connectivity options including 5G (where available), LTE-M, WiFi, private networks, 2G, 3G and 4G, as well as satellite and offshore connectivity capabilities.

At the heart of our maritime connectivity and global connectivity services are our Global eSIM and physical SIM cards.  These provide data to all onboard devices via cellular data links.  By onboard devices we mean Wi-Fi routers, container sensors, IoT networks, any system process that needs to connect to the internet, to a remote server or monitor – as well as the phones and devices of the crew and people on-board.

Our Global eSIM and physical SIMs can access most terrestrial and maritime networks. Not all networks are equally available – some offer better coverage in some locations than others. And, every country has its own range of terrestrial network operators. This means that, as a vessel is on its journey, different networks may be available.

Catching up with our maritime connectivity teams

Later in the year will be announcing new partnerships with satellite connectivity providers.

We are also in discussions with providers of GSM connectivity over Low Earth Orbit to fill in coverage gaps both on land and at sea offering an alternative to other very expensive satellite networks.

In addition, the expansion of Telecom26’s 5G capabilities will help improve them maritime connectivity of the people and devices on-board vessels of all sizes.

If you’d like to arrange to a call to discuss how our maritime connectivity and global connectivity services can connect the people and devices on-board your vessels as they travel around the world then please get in touch.

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