Technologies That Will Lead Maritime Industry in 2018

A forecast made by industry leaders and engineers foresee how advancements in technology, such as the development in robotics, will help take the industry to new heights this year. These new pieces of technology are poised to change the face of IT and digitization in the industry.


Although shipowners are already aware of these changes in terms of vessel emissions and smarter fleet management, it is still crucial for them to know the developments in robotics, deep learning computers, and alike, which will likely be in demand, especially in maritime transport and exploration sectors.


Here are the top technologies that experts see that can potentially bring positively influence to shipping operations worldwide


Autonomous surface vessels

The previous year was dedicated to develop and manufacture autonomous surface vessels, but 2018 will be the year that they will be formally tested and demonstrated. Aiming to illustrate how unmanned and commercial craft could be developed in the near future, the construction of the world’s first autonomous commercial vessels will begin this year. Furthermore, shipowners will have the opportunity to test the market to help them identify which technology to adopt in the future.


Virtual reality (VR)

No longer will they be used solely for gaming and entertainment, the maritime and shipping industries will use this technology, particularly in training and education. It will be utilized for ship design and engineering processes by evaluating ship interiors, piping requirements, electrical networks and personnel movements in emergencies.



Although drone technology is already being used for years now, they still need to be enhanced to meet the demands of maritime applications. Drones can provide pieces of information to surveyors on areas that are difficult to reach, especially on ships and offshore structures. They can also be used for delivering parcels to vessels near coastlines and navigating in glacial conditions to provide more information to ship owners and manufacturers. Another segment of the industry that experts see drones fit to use is for testing vessel emissions.



With the increasing interest of developing autonomous vessels, industry leaders and experts see the need for the utilization of robotics. This will take away as many human intervention as possible, but some see that the removal of this element in navigation can lead to a myriad of challenges that involve manual labor such as line handling. However, manufacturers and developers are looking for ways to build robots that can perform these operations with remove control assistance from human crew members.
Technology and the maritime industry have always gone hand in hand in order to deliver services to even the most remote and dangerous parts of the world. Some of the aforementioned trends may still be under development, and others are well advanced. But truly, with these technologies coupled with the enhanced maritime training that seafarers receive in the Philippines, maritime industry will continue to advance in 2018 and the years to come.

DTI To Provide Shipbuilding Support For Smaller Vessels

An incentives program is being planned by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to provide support for local manufacturers of small and medium sized vessels for domestic use.


It is currently being drafted in order to attract investors and boost local manufacturing that will be led by the DTI with the goal of providing incentives that are tailored depending on the needs of the industry.


Although it is still in its planning stage, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the support package is being seriously considered to further accelerate the development of the local shipbuilding industry, with Mindanao as one of the regions that will play an important role in the country’s shipbuilding plans.


DTI strongly believes that with good management and highly skilled human resource matched with capital, technology and global market opportunities, the Philippines is poised to become the largest shipbuilding nation within the next five to 10 years.  


Filipino seafarers play a significant role in the industry as it comprises a bulk of the workforce. That is why it is no surprise that the government is planning to expand its contributions to the industry beyond providing personnel and maritime training in the Philippines. This time, industry leaders have set their sights on locally producing vessels and ships that will sail alongside other nations in the open waters.


And because a significant number of Filipino seafarers sail all over the world, it is no secret that the country has more than enough supply of skilled manpower for shipbuilding and repair. Add the fact that the Philippines has a vast shoreline, it is only natural that a blossoming shipping industry will be developed locally.

PH Re-Elected to IMO Council Category C


The Philippines was re-elected to the council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category C, during the 30th session of the IMO Assembly (A30) last December 1, 2017 in London, England.


The appointment was a result of the 124 of 160 votes, placing the country as 13th among the 20 elected IMO member states under the said category.


According to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Al Amaro, being elected and obtaining higher ranking in one of United Nations’ (UN) specialized agency in charge of maritime safety, security and maritime environment protection is an honor to the country. He also regarded this to the strong and progressive image the world sees of the Philippines, the good reputation of Filipino seafarers to worldwide maritime operations because of the stringent maritime training they received in the Philippines, and the positive image of the country under the leadership of President Duterte.  


The all-out campaign headed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the maritime sector, including MARINA, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were also the key factors that contributed to the country’s appointment to the IMO council.


The country has been a member of the IMO since 1964 and has ratified and gave its approval to 22 convenitions. Since then, it has been an active participant to various committees of the IMO as well as its technical cooperation programs which aim to deliver capabilities in implementing international maritime regulations and standards.  


Filipino seafarers comprise over 25% of the entire workforce of the maritime industry all over the world, which constitutes to 1.5 million mariners worldwide.  This serves as proof that they are the most preferred personnel by the top employers in the global shipping industry. As an effect, maritime practitioners bring into the national economy an estimated USD 5.575 billion in remittance.  (PIA, DFA)


ISWAN Launches Guide On Psychological Well Being At Sea

photo courtesy of Safety4Sea

Through a partnership with the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), a new self help guide has been launched to provide seafarers with guidance on how to best enhance their emotional well being despite many challenges they face in their lives at sea.


This guide is the first of a series of books titled ‘Good Mental Health Guide For Seafarerswhich is accessible to apiring seamen who are undergoing offshore safety training in the philippines as well as to seasoned seafarers.


It contains skills, exercises and coping strategies to help seafarers deal with their emotions when they experience stress or sadness, including a useful guide on using mindfulness in dealing with situations. Furthermore, evidence from the field of positive psychology are brought together to help seafarers recognize critical elements of their mental well being, as well as provide practical tips that they can apply while at sea.


This guide has been produced by Dr. Pennie Blackburn, a consultant clinical psychologist who specializes in working with the effects of complex trauma, particularly survivors of war, political violence and torture, and sponsored by the Shipowners’ Club, who helped establish ISWAN to extend its Good Mental Health Guide for Seafarers. The handbook compliments Seafarer Help which is a free, 24/7 multilingual helpline from ISWAN.


MARINA, PDEA Partner On Campaign Against Illegal Drugs

The Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are working together to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country through its seaports.


Inspecting 1,200 private seaports all over the country, the campaign started with an information drive on the drug menace among seafarers and other port users last June. This is to keep seafarers and other maritime professionals informed on MARINA’s role in the government’s nationwide war on drugs, starting from the country’s entry points.


With drug regulation in ports reinforced, seafarers and traders can now be assured of their safety while on board and off shore.


From training to decks


Part of the maritime industry’s mission to be an instrument in the country’s development is to use its authority to prevent illegal drugs from setting foot through the ports.


In fact, in every maritime training, students are being taught of the industry’s regulations on drugs and alcohol use, especially when on duty. They are also oriented about port regulations that include the prohibition of illegal drugs from embarking the country, which also helps in furthering the government’s mission to fight drugs and criminality.


Seeing seafarers as instrumental to trade for both legal and illegal packages, leaders of the maritime industry all over the world have come up with regulations and code of conduct that will be strictly followed by all seafarers. It prohibits the consumption and possession of illegal drugs on ships.


Through proper maritime training in the Philippines, both aspiring and professional seafarers have been taught the perils of being under the influence while onboard and how it can negatively affect their work and employability later on.