Big Data in the Shipping Industry


What is Big Data?

Big data is a term that covers a vast amount of data stored in either structured or unstructured form. The massive size of this cloud-based information makes it nearly impossible to store and process this data through traditional approaches.

When handling big data, advanced data-processing techniques and tools are required in order to effectively analyze and utilize this data. Nowadays, big data analytics are applied to many industries to promote better quality decision-making processes.

Recently, the shipping industry has taken advantage of this new trend, by starting to utilize big data.

There are some key uses of big data within the shipping and logistics industry. Through the use of big data, the shipping industry has grown even more strongly over the past few years.

Big data is used for managing a ship’s sensors, and for predictive analysis, which is necessary to avoid delays and increase the industry’s overall operational efficiency. In the shipping industry, properly tracking cargo is very important to maintaining the necessary security and privacy.

Through the data obtained by properly tracking shipments over the course of a few years, information regarding reasons for losses of ships at sea, losses of containers inside or outside of terminals or warehouses, and other problems related to shipments (e.g. reasons for damaged cargo) can be obtained. This big data for the shipping industry can be used for future decision-making to predict and avoid costly problems, and to create more reliable cargo delivery options.

Furthermore, big data analysis also plays an important role in vessel operations.

Terminal operators and agents can track vessels and make appropriate or even instant decisions about berth and terminal allocation. These immediate decisions can be very crucial for day-to-day vessel operations. They can be made easily using information gathered through GPS devices, sensors, or control panels.

In the future, the use of big data is expected to increase considerably within the ship-building industry.

The consensus is that big data can play an essential role in the design of ships. This will mostly be possible by analyzing findings gathered through the sensors of previously-used vessels. The data collected and analyzed throughout a vessel’s lifetime will be useful for future improvement of ship designs. Previous data sets have the ability to assist in testing a ship’s proposed design without physically developing it. That’s a very big advantage for the ship-building industry.

As we move toward a more globalized economy, the demand for transportation of goods and associated logistic support will continue to grow exponentially. Over time, this growth will increase the need to maximize time and cost-efficiency, in order to have the most-profitable shipping processes. By using advanced data-processing techniques, the shipping of goods will become more efficient. Improved shipping services will result in increasing overall international trade.