In this report, we examine the impact of COVID-19 as a universal disruptor and catalyst for digital transformation in the maritime sector. Drawing upon an extensive analysis of evidence, we will chart how the pandemic has influenced the trajectory of digitalisation at sea and ashore and tackle some fundamental questions about digital investment and adoption rates in the face of unprecedented disruption. We explore how the industry has responded to challenges such as remote working, social distancing, and national lockdowns, and examine UK government progress towards the aims of the ambitious Maritime 2050 Strategy. In doing so, we chart the course of maritime digitalisation today and attempt to calculate the net impact of the pandemic upon the sector’s pathway to a de-risked, decarbonised, and digitally-enabled future.
This 50-page report reveals:
- How the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation by three years ahead of previous estimates,
- How the global maritime digital products and services market will grow to $159bn this year – 18% above pre-pandemic estimates,
- How the deal flow of investments in digital technologies have increased by 85% in 2021,
- How the UK maritime technology sector has weathered the pandemic to become the leading technological innovator in the G7 for digital ship operations and management tools, receiving the third largest amount of venture capital inflows in 2020, behind the US and China,
- How the UK Government aims to ‘reframe its relationship with the world’ and position itself as an industrious maritime nation and flexible agent of change,
- Why the fundamentals of the UK as a world-class host nation for digital technology and innovation remain attractive.
- Which companies are creating the most change and winning the most attention from investors
- What lessons can be drawn from the past to help the maritime industry adapt to new paradigms and build a secure and sustainable future.
- Which digital innovations are supporting the reduction in greenhouse gases and the transition to cleaner fuels.
The report concludes with recommendations to shipping companies, tech startups, and the UK Government on the pathway to success.
Key stats from the report include:
- The global maritime digital technology industry is forecasted to be worth $345bn by 2030.
- The adoption of digital technology in the maritime sector will be 3 years ahead of previous estimates by the end of 2022.
- The pandemic drove an extra $675bn of retail trade online in 2020.
- 1 in 20 ports worldwide sped up their investment timeline in digital technology.
- Average daily data consumption per vessel increased from 3.4 to 9.8 gigabytes between January 2020 and March 2021.
- The UK digital maritime industry will turn over $6.3bn this year; a 23% increase over pre-pandemic forecasts.
- UK businesses represent 20% of the entire global offering in ship operations and management technology.