BASS, a Norway-based maritime software provider, is upping its efforts on the development of the next generation fleet management system, with the concept of the connected ship to the fore.
“We are in an era of the connected ship using VSAT technology that will revolutionise vessel communications and operations. Also, new emerging technologies are playing a major role in application platforms, user interface and user experiences. Mobile solutions and availability of data have been increasingly popular over the years, a reflection of the global and fast-paced nature of business today,” says Per Steinar Upsaker, CEO and managing director of BASS.
Upsaker believes senior management in shipping companies today require a “helicopter view” to get an overview about critical information including compliance related to all their vessels.
BASS has taken this into account into the development of its upcoming new solution, the BASSnet™ Web Portal, which allows access to key up-to-date data via mobile devices with internet access, allowing for prompt decision-making and approval of certain transactions on the go, reducing red tape in the process.
Upsaker has noticed a trend that companies want to standardise their components, equipment and jobs across their fleet and easily maintain these from the office
“This requires a solid architectural platform and we have worked closely with key customers to make this available in the latest BASSnet 2.10 version,” Upsaker says.
Last month, BASSnet™ 2.10 was released which includes new and comprehensive fleet management features that allow for fleet-wide central management of equipment data.
“Drydocking is another area where shipowners/managers can increase their effectiveness and that is one of the main focus areas for us,” Upsaker says, adding that he has seen increasing requests from clients for solutions that are compliant with the latest conventions and laws including the European General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (EU GDPR), the EU MRV regulation and Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).
Upsaker reckons the shipping industry is relatively conservative when it comes to acceptance of new digital technologies.
“Adopting the latest innovative solutions requires significant resources especially for first movers. Continuous cost pressures and falling freight rates due to the continuing supply glut and recovering oil prices further exacerbate this. Furthermore, the cost of complying with regulations such as the 2020 global sulfur limit also contributes to innovation being on the back burner,” maintains Upsaker.
However, he foresees the shipping industry will increasingly be able and willing to embrace new technologies once they are able to see the long-term benefits.
In Upsaker’s view, maintenance, operations and drydocking are the departments in shipping that will adopt cyber technology most, as they are critical to a shipping company’s business.
“These parts are manual, complex and repetitive in nature, which can be significantly automated and streamlined,” Upsaker says. “This is very important, as the global nature of the shipping industry means companies have to navigate and comply with the complex requirements of different customers, countries, ports and regulatory authorities.”