A new collaboration between a startup and a shipping giant will see a small-scale pilot of IoT-enabled vessels. The hope is the partnership will use data collected to guide and encourage more sustainable operational decisions.
Signol, a “behavioural change startup” and Stolt Tankers, operator of the world’s largest ﬂeet of chemical parcel tankers, entered into a first-of-its kind project this month (September) which aims to cut CO2 emissions generated from their shipping. It will use data gathered from IoT to help sailors onboard the vessels understand the impact of their actions on fuel consumption and emissions and motivate them to adopt new behaviours accordingly.
The six-month pilot project will run on seven vessels and will use Signol’s data-led service. Five of the vessels use continuous monitoring IoT data through sensors connected directly into the ship’s power management and automation systems, providing a real-time view of what the crew experiences onboard.
Where as previous implementations of IoT may see higher ups examining data gathered and deciding on an action to be taken, this trial will put onus on the crew and shoreside teams to make more proactive and immediate decisions on a journey. Currently, data regarding things like a ships fuel consumption is done via noon reports, which are compiled daily, meaning inefficiencies may go on for hours before corrective action is applied.
The IoT data also allows for a wider range of data points to be taken and so provides better insights on the factors affecting whether or not crew members can implement emissions-reducing behaviours.
Currently, emissions from maritime transportation amount to roughly 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet there are few alternatives to the cheap, heavy and dirty diesel oil used by ships.
Harriet Johnson, Head of Maritime at Signol says: “Seafarers are frequently making high-consequence decisions with multiple priorities to consider. Their role needs to be recognised, and the complexities involved in each of these decisions must not only be respected but also aided in a sustainable and positive manner.”
Maren Schroeder, Managing Director of Stolt Tankers, says: “For every goal achieved through the system we commit to planting three mangrove saplings at the Stolt Tankers Mangrove Forest in the JBLFMU Ecological Park, the Philippines. Not only will this initiative help us to reach our sustainability ambitions, but it also helps to protect the local ecosystem close to where many of our crews call home.”
Signol’s previous work in the maritime sector shows fuel savings exceeding 5%. This model of helping to meet a reduction in emissions to meet net zero and to waste less as global fuel prices climb means IoT implementations like this are increasingly attractive to tight margin industries like shipping.
Indeed, IoT’s perceived use in shipping to save costs, reduce emissions, and even improve safety has seen the rollout of the world’s first zero-emission, completely autonomous cargo ship the Yara Birkeland.