Often viewed as a bellwether for driving digital transformation in ship management, our award-winning PARIS (Planning and Reporting Infrastructure for Ships) platform, was ahead of its time when launched 20 years back.
PARIS is an online visual portal that enables our clients and internal teams to monitor the ships we manage 24/7 by providing real-time data. Whilst it continues to support our operational processes, we also recognise the need to adopt newer technology to stay competitive, relevant, and drive value for our customers.
That’s why we are embarking on a new journey to take PARIS to the next level. We are calling it PARIS 2.0. We hope to achieve this through the development of a brand-new ecosystem, which will scale up its capabilities further while allowing us to incorporate everything we have learned and built into the current platform.
BEFORE SETTING SAIL
As with any journey, our first step has been to make sure we are well-placed to handle the unexpected. For us, it meant ensuring our current platform is safeguarded and has the right level of stability and resilience, to let us develop the new platform in parallel. Considering some of the challenges such as the ongoing pandemic, we have also been reviewing our current hosting solutions to further cater for disaster recovery scenarios.
Following our assessment, we decided to run the new PARIS on a true multi-region, cloud-hosted environment with stronger security elements in place. That’s why we collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS), our hosting partner. AWS provides a flexible, cloud-based platform, which caters to all our current applications and hosting needs, cost-effectively. With a global presence, their solutions allow us to scale our infrastructure with ease, based on user demand.
Their solutions also incorporate the latest cutting-edge technology in areas such as machine learning, which we plan to leverage for PARIS 2.0.
The migration to the new cloud-hosted environment got completed earlier this year, leading to a reduction in system access time by 44% and an increased system uptime to 99.8%.
Head to the article Fleet Management Gains Agility and Analytics Ability with AWS Migration, or AWS Executive Insights from Hong Kong – Fleet Management Limited to find out more about our collaboration with AWS.
THE JOURNEY TO PARIS 2.0
Our development of PARIS 2.0 is a multi-year programme. The purposes of the new ecosystem are to:
- Increase transparency leading to better process compliance
- Drive faster processes and operation efficiency
- Drive data-driven insights for our seafarers, shore teams and clients for better decision making
At its core, we are developing two critical components for the PARIS 2.0 ecosystem:
- A core Operational (microservices API-based) platform, and
- A dedicated Data Analytics platform – used to generate insights through interactive dashboards, underpinned with machine-learning models
While these two components are being developed in parallel, it is the interaction of the two that will deliver significant benefits for our business to pass onto our clients.
Some of the anticipated benefits of PARIS 2.0 include:
- An improved end-user experience through new screens supporting multiple formats (responsive design) as well as new apps. This will give more adaptability in how we display and capture information for different end-user groups – such as those onboard ships, owners, charter parties and our support teams across offices
- Enhanced analytics capability to identify trends and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to provide predictive models via dashboards, leading to better decision-making, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- Ability to ingest both internal and external data sources within our analytics platform. This includes live streaming of sensor data across our fleet enabling us to analyse in near real-time what is happening and take appropriate measures. Use cases include being able to take external weather, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and routing data alongside sensor data to then prioritise for varying outcomes such as improved fuel efficiency or speed.
- Ability to monitor the carbon footprint of a vessel and identify ways in which its footprint can be reduced by developing solutions leveraging the analytics platform
- Ability to constantly evolve and develop capabilities leveraging the forward-looking AWS cloud platform
- Better scalability, supportability and security due to the adoption of a modular, flexible, cloud-hosted architecture (with offline capabilities). We are also heeding cybersecurity considering cyber threats and impacts are very much on the rise
Furthermore, with technology evolving every day, the new ecosystem will let us collaborate internally as well as with external third parties to explore innovative ideas and solutions, from time to time.
The solutions we are considering in this space range from technology such as using blockchain for improved validation of key processes to smart assistant services, which will generate actionable insights in several areas, quickly and easily.
Given the nature of our industry, we also need to look at specific areas that PARIS platform must address. For example, to provide a seamless experience for our seafarers, we will be using the cloud-hosting and supported technology, to ensure the new ecosystem operates in scenarios where network connectivity may not always be 100% available onboard our fleet.
Also, with any digital transformation, a key element is to understand how to land the changes successfully across our business. With the support of our top management and key operational stakeholders, we aim to deliver the changes in phases over time so we can manage the overall risk whilst also adapting to feedback as we migrate from the current to the new PARIS 2.0 platform.
WHERE ARE WE SO FAR ON THE JOURNEY?
To begin with, our first step was to develop FLEET’s overall digital technology roadmap and strategy, working closely across all functions, taking best practices from across the shipping industry and adopting the latest technology trends. We completed this at the end of 2019.
We are now working on the two components of PARIS 2.0, which are OPERATIONS PLATFORM and ANALYTICS PLATFORM – ‘NOVA’. Here is a sneak peek on where we are at currently.
Operations Platform: Based on our strategy, over the last few months, we have already developed the foundation of the Operations platform, including the overall user interface and design, ensuring it is robust, scalable and secured. Some key features include:
- Single sign-on functionality for ease
- Multi-factor authentication for secure login
- Comprehensive logging to enable a fully auditable trace of activity across the platform
We completed building the foundation in the first half of the year. We then started migrating the PARIS 1.0 functionality to the new platform with the first component, Vessel Data, which went live on 23 October. Now any changes to vessel data (updates, deletes and creating new ones), all occur in PARIS 2.0 supported by a new, streamlined approval flow. With added data validation and a streamlined process, quality of data is further enhanced, and data entry now can be de-centralised across teams.
As with any migration, there have been quite a few headwinds along the way particularly around data cleanliness but the collaborative effort across the Digital team and with those across FLEET have enabled first module to go live successfully. Thanks to all those involved!
Analytics Platform – ‘NOVA’: The analytics platform is called “NOVA” – Nautical Operations and Vessel Analytics.
We have already completed building the Data Analytics foundations. This means we now have the capability to capture data – both internally and externally on an interval and real-time basis – which will be used as the source for the development of dashboards and development of machine-learning models.
In parallel to this work, we participated in the Data+ programme with Duke University, North Carolina, to explore how we can leverage the data captured within PARIS 1.0. During this 10-week programme, we studied data around near-misses and incidents, using Machine Learning to assess the data captured and identify how we can simplify the method of reporting onboard to improve safety.
Participating in the programme has been very useful. It helped us learn how to use the rich data we have on PARIS 1.0 to generate actionable insights for our seafarers, shore staff and clients.
WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THE NEXT 6 MONTHS?
A host of interesting developments are underway for the PARIS 2.0 Operation and Analytics platforms.
Here are a few highlights.
- The addition of a New Vessel Inspection Report capability via mobile app allowing for remote inspections
- Migration of seafarer and crew assignment from PARIS 1.0 to PARIS 2.0 to streamline the onboarding process for seafarers
- The building of additional core APIs to enable the migration of further functionalities from PARIS to PARIS 2.0, incorporating elements such as Oracle Supply Chain, among others
- The development of the Planned Maintenance System (PMS) within PARIS 2.0
- Owner Dashboards: Implementation of the first versions of the owner dashboards, which will take existing live data and provide insights on vessel performance covering areas such as Environmental (greenhouse gas emissions, EEOI, etc) and Fuel Consumption (Speed / Fuel Consumption, Power Absorption, etc), among others
- Pilot projects: Completion of the pending pilot projects and exploring different analytics platforms to validate which one of these we should move forward with and how these would fit into the PARIS 2.0 ecosystem
- Hull fouling: Introduction of the dashboard to indicate hull condition and alerts to take preventive action
- Fuel optimisation: Development of a fuel optimisation model using Machine Learning (ML) techniques, which will create a digital twin to predict and optimise fuel consumption based on variables such as weather, charter-party costs and vessel information