Novel Ricoh technology provides ship snapshots

Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has detailed how it is using technology from electronics firm Ricoh to keep an eye on every corner of its ships.

MOL is now able to carry out virtual ship visits using the Ricoh Theta, a 360-degree camera and the Theta, a virtual tour production service.

Shipmanagement companies and operators can browse 360-degree onboard images and videos from anywhere using PCs and smartphones “as if they were visiting in person”, MOL stated in a release today.

“MOL Group land-based employees have limited opportunities to visit all areas onboard giant vessels over 300m long, especially in relatively short in-person visits. This makes it hard to intuitively grasp the ship structure through drawings and conventional planar images,” MOL explained in a release. The new Fleet Tour application developed with Ricoh technology addresses such issues. In addition, MOL expects this to be particularly effective as an ICT-based approach to vessel inspection, considering the difficulty of conducting in-person ship visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new development is the third part of MOL’s so-called FOCUS project. The first part was the Fleet Viewer application, which monitors vessel operation data, followed by its Fleet Performance application that tracks vessel performance.

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.


  1. At MOL, ship managers do not know how to operate the coffee maker. That is the level!!

Back to top button