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Seatrade Maritime Middle East Virtual emphasises on the need for digital transformation in the industry

The event will highlight technology-enabled solutions that will assist the sector’s move to smart operations, enabling a digital revolution in the industry

Dubai, United Arab Emirates,

Sallam Sallam

Seatrade Maritime Middle East Virtual 2020 (SMMEV), the region’s leading event in the shipping industry, will take place virtually from 14 to 16 December 2020, with its live event confirmed for late 2021. As the premier international event with a regional presence, SMMEV works to promote the adoption of digitalization in the maritime sector.

Technology played a major role during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping varied sectors including the maritime industry to tackle the crisis and continue smooth operations and trade flow. Digitalization has become the need of the hour, and SMMEV will play an integral role in highlighting its importance.

Ushering the digital era

Seatrade Maritime Middle East has always been a platform where technology companies showcase their latest offerings. This includes intelligent shipping solutions, and other innovative technologies that have the ability to transform the maritime industry, ensuring efficient, precise and low-cost operations.

H.E. Eng. Hessa Ahmed Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (UAE) said, “The industry faced a major downturn because of COVID-19. Every segment in the maritime industry was affected, right from sailors who faced difficulties during lockdowns, quarantine periods and crew restrictions to those working on ports. Here, technology was a saviour as it enabled ports to overcome difficulties using advanced automation and remote systems. The pandemic accelerated the use of technology in the maritime industry, reducing the need for manual jobs and human presence. We commend DP World, UAE Region and Abu Dhabi Ports for being great examples in the industry. SMMEV is only speeding up this process by showcasing such solutions and uniting leading technology solutions companies and decision-makers.”

Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade stated, “Over the years, our event has been a destination for professionals and stakeholders in the maritime sector to learn about the latest innovations and digital systems. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, embracing technology-enabled solutions has become a necessity. We have an interesting line up of speakers in the virtual edition who will be discussing how companies can adopt digitalization to kickstart the smart shipping era. Technology is assisting companies around the world to better themselves and reduce operational costs.”

Advancing with the changing times

Year after year, Seatrade has dealt with topics that are relevant to the times. This year is no different, SMMEV will shed light on the adoption of digital technologies and its impact on the industry. The panel comprising industry leaders, who are at the forefront of the digital transformation of the shipping industry, will talk about how the industry can benefit from technology-enabled solutions and strengthen businesses. They will also discuss the role of automation and artificial intelligence in easing business operations.

Chris Greenwood, Director of Regional Business Development, Middle East & Africa, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) said, “This is an unprecedented time for the industry and companies around the world are facing the brunt of the pandemic. ABS has been developing digital solutions and a robust remote survey platform for quite some time but the COVID-19 pandemic expedited the digital transformation. We expect that the developments in digital solutions post COVID-19 will continue to accelerate rapidly and we are working closely with industry partners, universities and technology companies, to help drive maritime regulation in step with these developments. The Middle East is a forward-thinking region in terms of technological advancements and a premier event like SMMEV will only reinforce the status of the industry in the region, enlightening key players about the newest innovations.”

Dr. Ahmed Yousef, Associate Dean of the College of Maritime Transport and Technology at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport Branch in Sharjah (AASTS) said, “We are witnessing a shift in the maritime industry, where government entities and companies are working to implement new workflows and methods to do business, using technology-savvy tools. SMMEV will be an ideal opportunity for us to communicate with government agencies and the private sector to offer cooperation in R&D, and commence studies and consultations to help the sector move forward in achieving growth by relying on the latest modern and advanced digital systems.”

“Since the onset of the pandemic, digital solutions have become a topic of discussion. Companies are rethinking their strategies to adopt digital solutions, automation, remote management capabilities, and e-commerce integration. The industry realizes that they need to be part of this transformation since the maritime industry is responsible for 90 per cent of global trade,” said Chris Morley, Events Director, Seatrade Maritime Middle East.

SMMEV provides a unique platform for maritime businesses. The virtual event will employ numerous digital solutions to offer an experience that is on par with the live event. Participants can hold virtual meetings with concerned parties, enhancing networking opportunities. The event will also provide virtual stands for exhibitors, making for a unique experience that will engage participants.

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