In shipping, logbooks are still being opened to manually document a cruise. And there are numerous on-board documents on which the digital age has so far passed without a trace. A small startup in Hamburg wants to change that.
The challenge: Digital records instead of paper documents
In maritime logistics, many processes still work the same way as they always did: The captain keeps a logbook and documents the entire journey by hand. And this although GPS navigation has long been the norm and all geographic data are available in digital form.
In addition, there are an average of 10 log books per ship that need to be manually recorded and updated. Deck plans, for example, document all the characteristics of the ship in detail, the Oil Record records all consumptions and dangerous substances on board must be meticulously documented. Many data are transferred by hand, which of course never excludes transmission errors.
The solution: Digital processes instead of manual records
Otto Klemke works according to a simple principle, consisting of listening, learning, doing better. Klemke studied Media Informatics at the University of Applied Sciences in Wedel and quickly made a name for himself as a consultant, who first enters a topic in order to digitalize established business processes from within.
In contacts with shipping companies and service providers in the field of maritime logistics, Klemke quickly realized that ships are still anything but digitized. This discovery led to the founding of NautilusLog in 2018. The company was one of the first to become part of the new Hamburg-based Digital Hub Logistics.
There is, for example, the good old logbook. Here information is entered by hand, although they are delivered by the satellite navigation on board anyway. For this process, NautilusLog needs nothing more than an app that retrieves geographic data from the navigation system and automatically creates the logbook.
With the various logbooks that a ship has to maintain, the focus is on another aspect. Digitization here means that information does not have to be entered more than once. Self-learning forms provide already existing information and are simply filled out on a Smartphone. In this way, regular audits are completed in less time and the required reports can be created without having to recapture everything every time.
In March 2018, NautilusLog received a project grant from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation (BWVI) to secure the further development of the system. Additional project funding was provided by the Hamburg Investment and Development Bank (IFB).
In May 2018, the company received the Hamburg Innovations Award, the Pitch Blue Award from the Verband Deutscher Reeder, and the Digital Logistics Award. It is also in the final round of the Reeperbahn Festival 2019 and participates in the 3rd BMWI Startup-Pitch.
Potential: Closer links between ship, shipping company and certification
NautilusLog has already developed the software for digitizing nautical processes. Currently, the focus is on adapting it to the legal framework, which currently refers exclusively to paper documents. Thereafter, nothing stands in the way of digital on-board documentation.
The goal of NautilusLog is the direct link between the data generated on board and the shipping company. Another aspect are targeted services that offer added value to certification authorities as well as to government authorities and shipping companies.