Everyday world pursues a green future. Urge for adopting sustainable practices rewrites rules in all the industries, and maritime transportation is no exception. The durability and profitability of the operation rely on how proactively you approach sustainability. And today most consumers demand sustainable products as they are aware of the impact of pollution on the environment and human health. Therefore, maritime management systems must deliver reliable, seamless, safe, and secure service while diminishing environmental pollution, maximizing energy efficiency, and ensuring resource preservation. The article focuses on how to accomplish a sustainable maritime mnagement system, which has been recognized as one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.
Today maritime management system faces various kinds of sustainability challenges. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) global maritime merchant fleet is liable for about 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions. If no action is taken, it will be increased up to 17% by 2050. (Solar Impulse Foundation, 2021) Therefore meeting global environmental standards has become a challenge.
Human resource is crucial for a sustainable maritime management system. How to attract an adequate number of flexible and qualified maritime industry professionals and seafarers along with the proper knowledge, skills set, and motivation has become challenging when the worldwide market proceeds to expand and maritime activities boost accordingly. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)
Security is also crucial for a sustainable maritime management system. But today security of the shipping sector has been threatened by Global Terrorism, modern-day piracy on sea lanes, and conventional armed robbery against ships in port or anchor. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021) Moreover, Cyber-attacks and data theft are also more likely to occur and it will have greater consequences on safety as companies are least prepared for such situations.
Lastly, to cope with modern-day challenges and to adopt trends, companies should continuously invest. Hence, a sustainable maritime management system requires a reliable financial system to empower social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
To embrace a sustainable management in the maritime industry, certain practices need to be implemented. The following are some of the practices IMO has set to establish a such system.
Technical cooperation should extend to the improvement and maintenance of all hydrographic, oceanographic, and meteorological information, which will aid the development of maritime and related sectors. Furthermore, sustainability can be
achieved by creating partnerships for technical cooperation, assisting developing countries to propose laws focusing on competitiveness, educating all maritime stakeholders about the upkeep of ship and shore facilities, and developing capacity building delivery mechanisms. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)
New Technology and Innovation
The maritime sector is seeking sustainable alternative solutions for existing shipping solutions, and technology is the greatest differentiator. For example in Uljanik shipyard, scientists researched innovative ways to reduce the weight of heavy cargo vessels to increase the efficiency after cutting the propulsion systems, in Spain ships are experimented in artificial hydrodynamic environments under reproduced ocean and sea conditions to find the impact on ship stability. (shmgroup, 2019a) Hence, stakeholders must implement certain actions to transfer such knowledge between involved parties such as encouraging partnerships between academic and research institutions, promoting scientific research and developments, exhibiting current technology, and improve new standards that assist the growth of better technology, inspiring stakeholders to utilize newer technology and provide feedback based on results and their experiences. (shmgroup, 2019a)
With boosting economies, people consider the ocean’s profitability, and ecological concern creates the requirement of ocean governance. Principles have been set by relevant bodies to ensure that competing interests do not have negative impacts on trading forms. Cooperation between competing interests is essential to uphold unity among users. Issues arising from conflicting marine activities should be discussed and settled to maintain seamless functioning in the ocean. Several initiatives can be launched to maintain better governance to achieve sustainability. (shmgroup, 2019b)
Education, Training, and Support
Education and training should be frequently updated with the continuous developments in the maritime sector to create proficient and tech-savvy professionals. Seafarers’ education and training must be based on STCW Convention, inter alia, and incorporate with retraining and education upgrades, as required. Safety and ecological awareness must be prime concerns. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)Due to the exhausting lifestyle in the maritime sector, there is a huge drop in the number of individuals joining the maritime sector. Hence, favorable policies should be created to enable happier and less stressful lifestyles for seafarers. Apart from training seafarers, onshore maritime professionals must be trained and educated regarding legal, engineering, ship management, and port careers.(shmgroup, 2019c)
Safety Culture and environmental Stewardship
Promoting a safety culture based on global standards and obligatory enforcements is a primary goal of achieving sustainability. Safety culture should go beyond compliance with regulations and deliver added benefit for the procedure via encouraging safety. In addition to that environmental stewardship must be considered in the enforcement and development of global standards for preventing pollution and saving the marine environment. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)
The efficiency of the ship-shore interface should be increased. Standardization and streamlining documents for the reception and delivery cargo using electronic systems for the clearance of ships, passengers, and crews, improving coordination will increase the efficiency. Once the efficiency is achieved, it should be kept functioning at the utmost level. By upkeeping logistics infrastructures, it will allow ships to sail at ideal speeds for energy conservation for their charted trajectories. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)
Future fuel demand should be properly assessed, and ports must arrange facilities to provide fuel. Clean energy such as low-sulfur fuel oils and LNG should be used. The cost of these relatively expensive fuels must be borne among the entire maritime community, rather than the users. A great way to increase the use of such fuel is by promoting Partnerships between the shipping industry and fuel suppliers. Suppliers can produce innovative fuel types while the shipping industry can provide bunkering facilities for it.
By continuously improving international and national regulations, it will solidify the foundation of global maritime security. Coordinated networks must be created among the stakeholders who are engaged in reducing risks in the maritime domain. Terrorist attack scenarios must be examined at the international and national level and need to determine whether responsible safety enhancements can significantly increase security. (‘Maritime Transportation System Security Recommendations’, 2005) To achieve cybersecurity, network security must be ensured. Systems must be regularly monitored, and malware prevention systems must be there. Users should be privileged with the responsible level of system privileges and rights. Removal media policies must be set up to control import and export data. (safety4sea, 2018)
Finances, liability, and insurance
Feasible financial systems must be there to construct new ships and to refurbish existing ships to maintain safety requirements. In the event of a maritime incident, compensations must be provided for damage or loss as, a sustainable maritime transport system depends on it in these sorts of incidents. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)
Maritime traffic support and advisory systems
Developing optimal systems for navigation is required. These systems should be incorporated with pilotage and icebreaking services, intelligent routine systems, and aids for weather routing, including e-navigation to enhance fuel efficiency and safety. traffic information systems such as the Marine Electronic Highway concept, must be expanded. (Seafarers and Professional development cluster, 2021)
A sustainable maritime management system must consist of well-structured administration, Skilled personnel, good security, a sound financial system, Onshore facilities, equal global standards new technology, and so on. Therefore, the above-mentioned measures in the article must be given ample consideration to achieve sustainability in the maritime management system.
Faculty of Engineering
University of Moratuwa