DryDock turns the Spotlight on 2021, where we take a look at what some industry leaders think next year will look like, with comment from MMI, ABB, Hempel and Royal Caribbean.

COVID 19 – Reshaping the shipyard agent

In 2021, Mike McMahon, Owner of Marine Marketing International Ltd,   will be celebrating 25 years as a shipyard agent. “Coming from the marine services sector, I cut my teeth with Wilmot Marine before buying back the shares in MMI in 2004. During that time, I have seen plenty of changes,” he explains. “Covid-19 has been the biggest shake-up I have suffered in my career.” He now believes that using Zoom and Microsoft Teams for virtual marketing trips is now the future, “and I do not think we will ever go back to the office visits, unless there is a specific project that needs addressing in the flesh.”

Remote diagnostics: a fresh push for the digital shift in shipping

The increase in demand for smart asset management services in 2020 is creating momentum for remote diagnostic services to support systems at sea.

Stian Braastad, Global Lead for Smart Asset Management, Digital Services at ABB Marine & Ports, says he has been experiencing unprecedented levels of service enquiries and uptake during 2020, with remote monitoring and diagnostics providing a special focus for ship operators.

“Covid-19 has led to a surge in demand for digital maritime technology,” he says. “Our remote support systems have been operating effectively for years, and we were already ahead of the game with remote monitoring and eight ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centres around the world providing 24/7 support to our customers. But the pandemic has demonstrated the true value of today’s remote monitoring and cloud-based data management systems, with scope to streamline maintenance, cut costs, support decision-making and ensure the best through-life asset care.


Towards a digital and decarbonised future

As the COVID-19 situation begins to stabilise, the marine industry will once again return focus to its biggest long-term challenge – the decarbonisation of the industry. Digitalisation will play a major role in achieving this goal, says Davide Ippolito, PhD, Head of Marine Group Product Management, Hempel.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries have now worked out how to keep the business wheels spinning in the face of shifting restrictions and lockdowns. It’s nowhere near business as usual, but business is moving on. Recovery will progress at various speeds across the world and growth expectations for different industries are mixed. Some industries are expecting to grow fast in 2021; others anticipate more modest growth. But nearly everyone expects a global market rebound.

Safety first cruising

Royal Caribbean is committed to the safety of its guests and crew and we have been working around the clock to ensure we can provide a safe and enjoyable cruise experience following the global pandemic, says Ben Bouldin, Vice President, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International.

To help us do this, earlier this year we assembled The Healthy Sail Panel – a group of field-leading epidemiological experts – and worked closely with this panel to devise a set of open-source recommendations to help the cruise industry safely resume operations.

After much research, the Healthy Sail Panel has detailed more than 70 recommended best practices. All the scientifically backed recommendations can be found in the Healthy Sail Panel’s publicly available 60+ page report, which are being used to shape our global health, and safety protocols, which will be announced in 2021.

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