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While it may not seem a long time, a lot has changed since our establishment just fifteen years ago. However, to give you a quick recap, 2006 was also the year in which Twitter launched, Western Union discontinued all telegram and commercial messaging services, and YouTube celebrated its first anniversary. Certainly, there is no doubt that the roles of technology and innovation have grown exponentially over the past decade and a half and are now essential attributes for businesses seeking to remain competitive in today’s market, and none more so than in the global shipping, logistics and trade industries.Similarly to construction, the maritime industry has generally been acknowledged as slow to adopt digitalisation; however, for those that have, the advantages continue to scale to provide a domino effect that directly benefits a long list of stakeholders.

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that many shipping leaders are fully aware that having a digital strategy is essential to their future, with a recent study conducted by Wärtsilä Marine Business indicating that two-thirds of shipping companies have started their digital journey, with 69% of them exploring digital solutions.

While fortunate in our location as a convenient destination between east and west, it is, in fact, the breadth of our facilities and the dynamic development of our assets and services that have made us an attractive haven for international stakeholders across a broad range of verticals.

Thanks to the emergence and integration of AI, machine learning, cloud computing, big data, and augmented reality, we have continued to enhance our service offering to become safer and more productive.

By embracing some of the latest technologies in automation, our forthcoming collaboration with Robert Allan Ltd to develop the world’s first fully unmanned autonomous commercial marine tugs will not only help to increase efficiency, but also enhance operational safety.

On land, our fleet of six electric, autonomous Qomolo Q-Trucks have been tasked with supporting mother vessel loading and unloading activities within CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal’s container yard, which will help to reduce operating costs and CO2 emissions, while providing a viable continuity solution in the event of any manpower crises.

When considering that between 75% – 96% of marine casualties result from human error, the use of autonomous or semi-autonomous vessels or vehicles will go a long way to reducing accidents and increasing safety while potentially reducing insurance premiums in the process.

As a by-product of our automated efficiencies, we were pleased to use our resources to make a valuable contribution towards the HOPE Consortium, which has brought together leading Abu Dhabi and global entities to deliver an end-to-end solution to globally distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Further enhancing the process, our digitalisation cluster, Maqta Gateway has since delivered a blockchain-enabled, digital supply chain Vaccine Management System called mUnity which enables end-to-end track and trace of vaccines to support demand planning.

While technology cannot take all the credit for our rising efficiencies, it is evident how its application is helping to provide a better working environment for our community. By reducing repetitive processes, fatiguing roles and unnecessary red tape, our teams are empowered to deliver to the best of their ability within an organisation that embraces innovation as an intrinsically valuable part of our future.