Shipping digital transformation and standardization strategy best practicies

Hello Queseanians,

The role of standards is important in several sectors, specifically in a maritime context towards digitalization I think there is a critical need for standardization.

Do you have any insights into how to succeed in a digital transformation considering a standardization strategy and best practicies?


Hi @Teuta

The role of standards is very important in several sectors as well as in shipping. Standards benefit shipping companies in the entire value chain of ship operations, especially in the lack of a regulatory framework.

Some of the most renowned organizations that set standards are

A. International level

  • International Organisation for Standardization (ISO)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)

B. Regional level

  • European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
  • European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)

C. National level

  • Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN)
  • Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS)
  • Standard Norway (SN)
  • BSI Group (British Standard Institution)

Generally, standards can be classified into three main categories

  1. design standards
  2. performance standards
  3. procedural standards

If I could compress 5 steps to take when setting standards for your organization would be the following

  1. Identify the areas that need standardization and own solution
  2. Identify the risks and benefits of the standardization
  3. Identify any other parties with potential interest and invite them to join your effort for the development of the new standard
  4. Identify the available resources
  5. Leave room for further innovation and differentiate ideas

For example, the digital transformation process of the ship operation could be

  • sensor readings
  • data collection
  • data infrastructure
  • data pre-processing
  • data management
  • data analytics or machine learning
  • data visualization
  • automated reports for decision-making or reporting compliance

The standardization at each step of the process can be used to improve several areas such as reducing data loss, improving the data flow quality, structuring ship models, homogenizing the naming of parameters, etc.

Finally, standardization will have a positive impact as it will

  • Harmonise processes
  • Simplify interoperability and integration
  • Enhance transparency and traceability
  • Provide a basis for reports and third-party verification
  • Transfer knowledge
  • Share best practices
  • Accelerate regulatory developments