A new initiative, aiming to solve the time-consuming management of the large volume of training certificates in the field of shipping, is designed by SQLearn, in collaboration with the American classification society ABS and the i4M Lab research laboratory of the University of the Aegean. Thenamaris Shipping Inc. actively supports this research project offering an ecosystem through which the project can be developed and become a reference commercial product for the shipping industry.
Digital transformation has also invaded shipping. Modern vessels are increasingly automated and reliant on ICT to perform, monitor remotely and control the performance of their operations. In this context, the digitization of the means and processes implementing international trade, as well as the accompanying documents, is being attempted on a large scale. However, shipping companies not only distribute the commercial documents accompanying the goods and the persons but also manage the vessel’s d and crew’s documents, many of which are frequently and repeatedly inspected at Port -State-Controls.
The digitization of these documents is widening, although in many cases digital shipping documents are not really digitally signed documents that can be read and processed by machines, but simply copies of the prototypes. As digitization progresses in the shipping industry, shipping companies are seeking for digital innovation to take advantage of the operational efficiency it generates. The OCEAN project is included in this perspective.
OCEAN (Online Certificates Authentication Network) aims to reform and optimize the current procedure for managing the large volume of certificates required to be presented by a seafarer. An integrated system for the management and verification of certificates through Blockchain technology will be developed within the project. The aim is to create a safe and reliable automated handling and management environment, with particular emphasis on STCW training certificates.
The aim is to fully develop a process of digital management, verification of the origin, validity and lifetime of crew’s documents, training logs, etc., with the “trust” advantages offered by Blockchain technologies. In particular, OCEAN will save cost, time, paper, and offer real-time data access. The system will also help in the future to facilitate chartering as it can be used by charterers as a reference point for assessing shipping companies in order to find those who qualify for their cargo shipments.
The above-mentioned project has been submitted as a proposal under the 2nd Round of the Single Action “Research – Create – Innovate” and in any case, its implementation is a priority for the involved parties in the coming months.