Innovation in the container shipping industry: wind power and maritime connectivity
28 July 2022

Innovation in the container shipping industry: wind power and maritime connectivity

28 July 2022

The secret lives of shipping containers is a subject of fascination for our team of maritime connectivity experts who are focused on bringing at-sea and nearshore connectivity to these essential cogs in the global supply chain.

We have previously discussed the future role of smart containers and trends in the container shipping industry.

Shortages on our supermarket shelves, and long lead times for all kinds of goods including electronics and furniture, are the visible signs that it’s far from business as usual in the global shipping industry.

This article in Marine Insight - which provides maritime news and analysis - Six Major Trends in Container Shipping in 2022  says that the ongoing disruptions from COVID - and Brexit - are now joined by shortages and uncertainty caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.  And that delays will continue for months, if not years, to come.

However, on the bright side, as well as Telecom26 with our maritime connectivity service designed for the containers, devices and people on-board cargo ships, there are many other organisations trying to bring change and efficiency improvements to the global shipping industry.

For example this article  - The dream of replacing container ships with sailing boats - in The UK’s The Guardian newspaper discusses how global trade depends almost entirely on huge, dirty, dangerous container ships” with shipping accounting for 2-3% of global carbon emissions.

As well as using the dirtiest fuel which creates smog at ports, shipping “also damages the environment in other ways. Ships regularly dump garbage and contaminated bilge water into the ocean, and underwater noise pollution disrupts the life cycles of fish, whales and dolphins”.

The article profiles a number of entrepreneurs who are figuring out how wind power can be part of the shipping industry’s fuel and energy mix.  There are all kinds of sails being developed, trialled and deployed with the goal of either replacing fuel entirely for the transportation of specific goods, or being added to engine-power ships to help reduce fuel consumption.

Very exciting stuff which our team of maritime connectivity experts will be keeping an eye on.

Maritime Connectivity, Smart Containers, IoT and Telecom26

In the meantime, our team of maritime connectivity experts are working with global shipping carriers which want to manage the entire shipment and delivery process of goods through connectivity, cloud computing traceability, monitoring, smart sensors and containers.

Key to this digital transformation is on-board IoT which allows the information about the container and its contents which has been gathered by sensors to be transmitted to both the crew - and remotely to the shipping line and owners of the container’s contents.

And for IoT in shipping to be effective, fast and always-on maritime connectivity which enables information sharing in real-time is necessary.

Satellite has traditionally been the connectivity tool of choice for the shipping industry. Expensive but always-on.

However, these days most maritime cellular communication networks can provide coverage up to 40km/25 miles out to sea (without a guaranteed QoS). As most vessels tend to spend their time in-port or hugging the coast, cellular can almost always be used for both voice and data maritime connectivity.

However, the major problem with the cellular at sea approach for maritime connectivity is that multiple SIMs have been required to ensure coverage throughout the cruise. As the ship crosses borders, so the network operators will change.

With the specific goal of improving maritime connectivity, Telecom26 has a multi-pronged approach:

  1. Multi-IMSI global SIM cards which enable Global Roaming.

These enable one SIM to access multiple networks both in-country and across borders thus removing the need to worry about the coverage of a single MNO, or the existence of roaming alliances. Multiple-IMSI profiles are pre-loaded onto every SIM allowing for simple reconfiguration if the primary network has poor or no service.

Our Multi-IMSI global SIMs automatically select the best performing network in the area, cross-border, while providing users with the freedom to change SIM profiles and services with ease.

When a vessel is travelling along the coast or anchored at port, the SIMs would use the best available cellular network and switch to satellite only when absolutely necessary.

  1. A multi-SIM router hosting SIMs with multi-IMSI feature, enables ship-wide Wi-Fi on which crew can use their personal and business devices. No more bill shock for any of them when they return home.

The Telecom26 maritime connectivity offering can combine both a full mobile private network at sea as well as a nearshore offering in order to provide contiguous mobile coverage at the lowest cost available.

To learn more about Telecom26’s suite of IoT maritime connectivity and maritime cellular communications services please get in touch.

Catching-Up In-Person

Later in the year Telecom26 will be attending these major international trade fairs:


6-9 September

Hamburg, Germany 

Mets Trade

15- 17 November



14–17 November 2022

Düsseldorf, Germany

If you, or one of your team, will be at any of these shows and would like to discuss our maritime connectivity and maritime cellular communications services in-person then please book a meeting.

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