Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Name

The International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) Conference

Conference Location

Alexandria, Egypt

Conference Dates

October 26 - October 28, 2021

First Page


Last Page


Publication Date



History testifies that there is a dialectic relationship between humans and technology. Especially during the last couple of decades, the shipping industry has benefitted from a very extended number of advanced technology innovations. Today, all systems supporting the conduct of navigation and the various information technology (IT) applications related to ship management activities are heavily reliant upon (almost) real-time information to safely/effectively fulfil their allocated tasks. As a result, truly vast quantities of data -which are often described as “Big Data” in the wider literature- are created and the issue of how to effectively manage all the associated information is clearly standing out. Furthermore, topics such as optimising the conduct of all relevant activities on-board the vessel at sea, identifying the right opportunities in order to further promote business and boost profits, or even contributing to the numerous elements of sustainability by achieving reductions in energy consumption and/or a better environmental footprint for shipping, should all be researched further. Considering the quite limited capacity of the human brain to process really enormous quantities of data in comparison to modern computers, the trend to use advanced software tools for extracting and processing the “right” information that is often hidden in the vast pool of Big Data, as well as relying on advanced techniques and algorithms to perform the relevant statistical analysis becomes quite obvious. The purpose of this paper, which follows a qualitative approach working in unison with a “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” (SWOT) analysis, is to identify and briefly discuss the most relevant tools and techniques that are associated with Big Data Management. It will also clearly highlight the various benefits that are opening up and will try to explain the notion behind this transition to a new era, characterized by the term “smart shipping”. A very important conclusion is that the exploitation of Big Data and the role of certain software applications in accessing and managing this large volume of information are key factors for improving/optimising the conduct of ship operations and management; establishment of a “Data Driven Culture” within a shipping company can clearly improve the current business model and at the same time promote sustainability