Ericsson connects Maersk’s vessel fleet at sea with IoT

The world’s largest shipping container firm, Maersk Line, has brought two thirds of its vessels online in a partnership with Ericsson.

It took the Swedish networking giant four years to bring the fleet online. Ericsson built a floating DSM network that can track individual cargo loads and provide real-time information back to Maersk Line customers.

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“Ericsson managed to transform the capabilities from a shore-based DSM network provider into what we needed—and that was the world’s largest floating DSM network,” Niels Bruus, head of fleet management at Maersk Line said.

Bruus sees this as the start of a long partnership with Ericsson, as the two companies attempt to bring the shipping industry from “the stone ages” by using IoT tech already implemented on land.

Ericsson claims that 90 percent of the world’s cargo is delivered by sea, but most of the cargo is not easily trackable and customers are unable to find information on the temperature and stability of the container.

With Ericsson’s Maritime ICT Cloud platform, all that will change. Maersk Line customers will have better oversight of their container.

A connected vessel fleet may reduce time spent preparing a delivery, since routes can be pre-mapped by a software program ahead of time. Ericsson believes we could see a reduction in fuel usage, alongside more productivity from the vessels.

“One of the things the solution has enabled for Maersk Line is for us to monitor the fleet live as the vessels are conducting the voyage,” Bruus said. “So that means every time there is an incident that is less than optimal for the most optimal production of the voyage, we can interfere immediately and be proactive and change the behavior as it happens.”

In a recent report from the United Nations ITU, it said that Scandinavian countries are surging ahead of the rest of the world in IoT deployment. This is another one of those occasions, with a Danish and Swedish company collaborating to build the first IoT network for the sea.

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