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Navigating the Waves of Change; How Edge Computing Transforms Maritime Logistics

21 December 2023 | by Rebecca Schenato

edge logistics shipping safety

Maritime commerce has been widely used throughout history and has grown in importance to the point where it’s now responsible for 80% of the world’s trade 1. Over the years, the maritime industry has faced multiple challenges, but arguably none greater than today, with environmental, cost and safety issues causing concern to operators. Edge computing is able to address these challenges and emerges as an essential innovation for maritime logistics, promising to revolutionize the way we navigate the seas.

Keeping Tabs on Containers and Codes

In the vast expanse of the ocean, the fear of lost containers is a significant concern. Edge computing tackles this issue by enabling advanced tracking systems that provide real-time insights into container movements. Equipped with sophisticated sensors and cameras, these systems read alphanumeric codes on containers, offering precise information about their location and contents. This not only prevents losses but also enhances supply chain visibility.

Monitoring Container Movements in Real Time

Containers in transit face various risks, from accidental falls to physical damage. Edge computing introduces continuous monitoring of containers, instantly alerting operators to potential hazards. This proactive approach ensures a swift response to prevent accidents, falls, or displacements, safeguarding both personnel and valuable cargo.

Ensuring Workers’ Safety

Worker safety is a top priority in maritime operations, and edge computing plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with safety protocols. Cameras with edge processing capabilities keep a vigilant eye, confirming that workers wear necessary safety gear, stay in designated areas, and follow safety guidelines. This not only enhances overall safety but also reduces the risk of accidents at sea.

Fire Hazard Prevention and Management

Potential fire hazards pose a significant threat in the maritime industry, underscoring the need for advanced safety measures. To manage this, edge computing introduces innovative solutions linked to fire detection and smoke monitoring systems. These systems are able to provide real-time insights into potential fire risks, allowing for swift response and containment. It is in fact not only possible to detect the presence of smoke but also analyze its characteristics, aiding in early fire detection. This proactive approach to fire safety is instrumental in mitigating risks, supporting both the cargo and crew.

Tracking Mariner Movements and Safety Zones

Understanding and managing movement of workers on ships is vital for safety. Edge computing facilitates the creation of safety zones, tracking personnel in real time and sending alerts if they venture into unsafe areas. This not only enhances safety protocols but also ensures swift and efficient evacuation procedures during emergencies.

Securing Shipping Content through Weight Monitoring

Edge computing supports a sturdy approach to securing goods stored in containers. By monitoring container weight before embarkation and upon disembarkation, any discrepancies indicate potential tampering. This enhances security, ensuring that the merchandise remains intact throughout the journey, minimizing the risk of theft or damage during transport.

Proactive Engine Insights

Understanding the intricate dynamics of a ship’s engine and its surrounding subsystems is fundamental to ensuring a smooth and secure journey. Edge computing enables crews to take a proactive approach by supporting real-time monitoring and analysis of engine performance. By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and algorithms, the engine and its associated subsystems can be protected using anomaly detection and predictive analysis. This capability can prevent failures, accidents and breakdowns, therefore enhancing overall operational efficiency, while reducing operational costs.

Towards a Greener Horizon

Beyond safety and efficiency, edge computing contributes to environmental sustainability. By preventing lost-at-sea containers and implementing efficient monitoring systems, it minimizes ocean pollution and encourages responsible maritime practices. The result is a more eco-friendly and conscientious approach to navigating the high seas.

SixSq and its Impact in the Maritime Industry

SixSq stands at the forefront of positive transformation through its innovative edge computing solutions. In fact, it plays a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency, safety, and sustainability of the maritime industry. By integrating its robust edge computing Nuvla.io platform, marketplace, and edge solution into maritime operations, SixSq facilitates seamless communication, real-time container tracking, and continuous monitoring of movements—establishing a proactive approach to safety. With a commitment to worker protection, SixSq’s solutions enforce safety compliance and contribute to creating a secure and conducive working environment.

As the maritime industry embraces the power of edge computing, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new technological era. The challenges that once seemed impossible to overcome are now met with innovative solutions, creating a safer, more efficient, and environmentally conscious maritime landscape. The waves of change are upon us, and with edge computing as our compass, the journey will be both transformative and promising. Supporting the maritime sector, SixSq is driving positive change, navigating the seas towards a safer, more efficient, and environmentally conscious future.

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