Autonomy in Shipping and the key question, “What do Ship-owners want and need?”

  • Published: 23rd July 2018
  • Last updated: 29th August 2018
  • Date: 5 Sep 2018
  • Start time: 1:30 p.m.

UK Chamber of Shipping
30 Park Street

The Chamber has been carrying out research into digitalisation and has engaged with members to find out their own progress and what the areas of most interest are. Thus the Chamber has decided that the next best step would be to host an event where members would have a chance to have an update on Automation and Digitalisation from different sectors, with the overall aim being to give members a chance to give their views on how they see the direction of this and most importantly what they actually want.

This event will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 5th September at the UK Chamber of Shipping offices and will be followed by a networking drinks reception. 

Members can attend for free of charge, there is a small fee of £125.00 + vat and fees for non-members 

 If you have any questions regarding this event, please do contact Jenny Atkinson

Eventbrite - Autonomy in Shipping and the key question, “What do Ship-owners want and need?”


13.00 Registration, tea and coffee 
13.30 Welcome and introduction 
13.40 UK Government approach and Maritime 2050 update - Matt Crane, DfT 
14.00 MCA involvement in autonomy and update on IMO MSC 99 - Katrina Kemp, MCA
14.20 How manufacturers are progressing and key upcoming projects - Dan Hook, ASV
14.40 Strategy and the future - John Grant, Wartsilla
15.00 Refreshment break
15.20 Ship-owner perspective - the progress so far and looking to the future -  Margareta Jensen Dickson, Stena Line
15.40 Ship-owner perspective - manned to unmanned vessels - Professor Russell Wynn, National Oceanography Centre
16.00 Challenges and obstacles in autonomy - Bernard Twomey, Rolls Royce
16.20 Autonomous Shipping - putting the human back in the headlines - Gordon Meadow, IMarEST
16.40 Navigation and safety - plotting the right course - Roger Barker, Trinity House
17.00 Round up and conclusions
17.10 Networking drinks
19.00 Close

Background information: 

Digitalisation and the increasing use and financing towards the use of more digitalised and automated ways of working within shipping had been a topic of increasing consideration for some time, with the momentum firmly remaining in 2018 with the IMO commissioning a regulatory scoping exercise at it’s meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee in May, which has finally got the regulatory ball moving. 

Along with the numerous assured benefits of this increase in digitalisation such as increases in safety and decreases in costs there are the warnings that the shipping industry has to embrace the change to avoid falling behind and risk the push being taken out of their hands by other parties such as the charterers, as demonstrated by the Yara Birkeland, and potentially Amazon as they move to further control their supply chain. 

The Government has shown its enthusiasm for this topic with Technology being one of the six themes in the Government’s long term strategy to secure the future of the UK maritime sector, entitled as “Maritime 2050.” Additionally in the recently released DfT Maritime Annual Report where the Government’s ambitions for the coming year were stated, a focus on technology was emphasised which includes publishing a Smart Shipping policy route map and playing a leading role as the IMO begin to explore the regulation of autonomous vessels.  

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