Are Unmanned Vessels the Future of Global Shipping?

There seems to be a lot of buzz going around about drones and unmanned ships within the shipping industry. We understand there are a lot of positives and negatives to unmanned shipments, so we decided to highlight them.

According to a presentation by Clamber University of Technology, Human error is one of the biggest contributing factors for maritime accidents around the world. So less accidents is one of the biggest benefits of unmanned ships. Check out these statistics below on the percentage of accidents caused by human error:

  • 84-88% of tanker accidents
  • 79% of towing vessel groundings
  • 89-96% of collisions
  • 75% of allusions
  • 75% of fires and explosions

The benefits behind the concept of unmanned ships are:

  • Fewer accidents caused by human error
  • Lower manning costs
  • A solution to shortage of seafarers
  • Ability to increase efficiency and reduce emissions
  • Complete environmental regulation compliance

The negatives behind unmanned ships are:

  • Unemployment issues for seafarers
  • Legal issues to seafarers rights
  • Advanced and expensive navigation and communication technologies
  • Schooling and certifications for seafarers to manage the ships from shore
  • Higher costs of construction

*** Copyrights: Thomas Porathe, Maritime Human Factors, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg. Sweden.

What do you think about the idea of unmanned ships and drones?