Baltic Exchange starts tracking shipping emissions

In a huge departure from its 265-year heritage of providing freight rate data, the Baltic Exchange is partnering with a spatial big data company to create a platform with an initial focus on shipping emissions.

The London institution, now owned by the Singapore Exchange, is teaming up with GeoSpock to build what is claimed in a release will be “the world’s most advanced global maritime spatial database”.

“As the global maritime industry embraces digital technologies, the data centre will act as a critical resource for Baltic Exchange members to utilise the array of new datasets emerging. The digital programme will commence with a specific focus on maritime air emissions, enabling members to have unparalleled access to visualisations and data insights,” a press release issued today stated.

The Baltic Exchange is aiming to develop an intelligent database that captures data on every measurable aspect of the shipping industry. This includes metadata such as location, weather, emissions, fuel usage, journey routes and times.

Through the collection of this data, the Baltic’s membership will have “complete and instant visibility into the shipping landscape,” according to the press statement. Companies will be able to analyse and optimise shipping on a global scale, while providing regulators and governments with a new level of transparency.

While this first emissions project will initially focus on UK and Singaporean ports, the initiative will have global capabilities and reach.

“As our market embraces digital technologies and as the Baltic Exchange executes its digital strategy it is imperative for our members that we adopt and utilise the most advanced technology and develop the most holistic database available for our industry,” commented Mark Jackson, CEO of the Baltic Exchange.

“The maritime industry is currently trapped within many siloes, with operators hungry for insight and visibility,” said Richard Baker, CEO at GeoSpock. “The goal of our combined database is to disentangle the sector, achieving data interoperability throughout whilst ultimately creating an innovation hub. Only by having ubiquitous access to trusted data and removing friction to data silos can the industry move to measuring and managing what matters.”

Baker concluded: “Analytics at this scale has the capability to improve not just the industry, but to make the world less polluted and more prosperous.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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