FLAGSHIP - Background


The shipping industry's business has, over the last few years, acquired high exposure. In most ways this is positive, but unfortunately much of the attention has focused on accidents and environmental damage. Shipping needs to further improve the way it operates in terms of pollution control, redundancy and fool-proof mechanisms and procedures. More and more the layout of the ship and components must address the Human-Machine Interface, ensuring that crews can cope in the most extreme conditions, under increasing time pressure and whatever the congestion.

Globalisation and the concomitant increase in world trade lead to increasing congestion. Also, the increase in international terrorism has put more attention on the movement of dangerous persons and materials. Thus ships are increasingly being monitored and controlled and the crew needs to send a steadily increasing number of reports and data to various shore authorities. Measures to reduce the administrative burden and free resources to do more operative work are urgently needed. This includes automatic reporting systems as well as decision support for compliance with new rules and regulation.

Developments, particularly within the areas of information technology and communication, make an increasingly stronger impact also on shipping. The strategic exploitation of information technology concerns not only the ship and the communication between the ship and shore - there are also requirements of integration of knowledge to an extent hitherto unseen.