To date no one has undertaken any in-depth research about the current state of digital infrastructure investment, initiatives and transformation in the shipping and maritime industry. Partnering with Ericsson, Futurenautics Maritime set out in 2016 to gather the hard, reliable data that the industry requires if it is to leave anecdotal assumptions behind and understand the true state of play.
The study surveyed respondents from both ship operators—in which we group ship managers and owners—and also maritime suppliers, and the resulting data should be a sobering read for every maritime and shipping stakeholder.
For the first time the data allows the industry to have an informed conversation around digital, understand where as an industry it is on the curve, and why.
It will allow ship operators to benchmark themselves, it will allow suppliers to understand their customers better, and it will also highlight where there are discrepancies in infrastructure and capabilities between shipping and maritime and the customers they are trying to serve.
The digitisation of the shipping and maritime industry, as in every other industry, appears to be an inexorable process. The lessons from other industries is that the extent to which incumbent companies are preparing for, and investing in, the infrastructure and initiatives that will underpin a successful transition at this stage, is a good barometer for their eventual success, and in many cases, their survival.
As such the data this research has delivered maybe the most timely, valuable and significant available for those operating in, investing in, regulating, supporting or seeking to enter the shipping and maritime arena.
It is for this reason that Futurenautics Maritime and Ericsson have shared the data free of any charge. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ericsson for taking the decision to do so for the wider benefit of the industry, and all the respondents who donated their time and expertise to completing the survey.
A waypoint is defined as an intermediate point or place on a sea-passage or line of travel—a stopping point, or point at which course is changed. We hope that the data and insight from this first Waypoint Digital 2017 Survey will help the industry, collectively and individually, to pause, assess and consider the courses their digital transformations are following, and to alter and correct where necessary to improve their chances of future success.