How technology can help shipping companies avoid accidents at sea

A recent study by the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) into the causes of maritime accidents between 2002 and 2016, found that inadequate risk management was the leading cause of almost 56% of all accidents.

Technology also featured prominently in accident reports, with ineffective use of technology cited as a key concern, representing almost 17% of cases. Fatigue amongst crew members was another big factor, contributing to just over 10% of all accidents.

Alexander Buchmann, Managing Director of Hanseaticsoft, a provider of innovative, cloud-based maritime software, says shipping companies can reduce their risk of accidents caused by ineffective use of technology and crew fatigue by choosing the right software.

He said: “The shipping industry is slowly embracing technology to improve efficiency and streamline processes. However, technology that is used inefficiently or inappropriately can lead to accidents. This is often due to a lack of training, since this can be both expensive and time consuming.”

Hanseaticsoft has developed cloud-based solutions that are intuitive and require little to no training at all, and the company is helping shipping companies with management, maintenance and administrative processes. Cloud Fleet Manager (CFM) is the firm’s web-based platform which allows information to be centralised, processed and accessed in real time using apps and mobile devices.

Modules such as Maintenance, Circulars and Rest Hours within CFM are helping companies reduce the risk of accidents. For example, the Maintenance module gives full visibility of the fleet status so companies have control over the maintenance jobs of the fleet, and the Rest Hours module ensures crew take the correct rest periods – thus preventing fatigue.

Mr Buchmann added: “Inadequate training of crew, long hours and ineffective maintenance can lead to accidents. Our software ensures that tasks are handled correctly and offers the crew a knowledge base for certain tasks. For example, providing safety procedures, collections of manuals or circulars that can be sent from the office directly to all vessels. Reminders are also set so crew don’t miss important tasks and maintenance work.

“One of the key benefits of this software is that it’s been designed for the modern-day shipping environment and it’s easy to use with minimal training needed. We’ve optimised the user interface of the software and created workflows that intelligently guide users through their tasks – and this means that intensive training isn’t required.

“Cloud-based solutions are not only leading to more efficient processes, but are also helping to reduce accidents by automating tasks and ensuring ships are compliant and procedures are followed correctly and on time. The wellbeing of the crew is also improved by enabling crews to enter and access their own data, ensuring the correct rest periods are entered.”