A successful business activity requires profitability, regulatory compliance and certain kind of customer satisfaction. Success is reflected how efficiently the company able to operate within the framework of various limitations imposed by technical, economic, legislative and environmental factors.Technical challenges in shipping related to ship size, optimal speed, automation, ship design.Ship size has become one of the most burning issues in maritime transport, with repercussions for the whole transport chain (Tirschwell, 2015)Larger vessels requires higher capital cost to build and operate, on the contrary they are allowing reduction of transportation cost of cargo or passenger units, however this benefit can be utilized provided the vessel is loaded to maximum capacity (Hacegaba, 2014)Increased ship size requires port facilities with suitable infrastructures involving significant investment and capital cost to establish approach channels, adequate length of piers, cargo handling devices, tugboats, etc, which in turns will increase the handling cost of the units.Special design consideration has to be made to ensure adequate strength, stability in any sea, weather and climatic conditions.
For maximum efficiency the outturn of cargo or passenger units has to be maximized, and seamlessly interfaced with port facilities. This requires effective speed management, thus one of the major challenges How to arrive in time – with the least fuel consumed? (Pyörre, n.d.)Optimal speed is the fine balance between propeller performance, propulsion power, engine specific fuel consumption, hull design, hydro- and aerodynamic modeling, reliable weather and current estimation.Developments in information and communication technology enables advanced automation.Automation greatly enhancing efficiency, significantly reduce and ultimately completely eliminate the required crew on board.
Reduced port time with limited crew create significant challenges to carry out the required maintenance as well severe limit any possible intervention at sea in case of contingency.Overcoming technical challenges will remain the key driving force in development of future vessels.