With an aim to drive improvements in the dry bulk shipping industry, the Australian mining giant BHP Billiton said it plans to focus on a future that is much more automated.
The company would focus on “the right kind of partnerships, leadership and standards” in order to work on automation and remote-operations, as it believes autonomous vessels offer significant opportunities to improve safety by removing people from dangerous tasks and more data-driven decision-making.
“Safe and efficient autonomous vessels carrying BHP cargo, powered by BHP gas, is our vision for the future of dry bulk shipping,” Rashpal Bhatti, BHP Billiton Vice President, Freight, said, adding that the company believes “that future could manifest within a decade.”
Besides more automation, the mining giant said that additional improvements could be made concerning safety, the industry’s environmental performance and using technology to improve business.
“We continue to seek out world class strategic partners who share our vision of a dry bulk industry that is at the forefront of technological change while defining the frontier in marine safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability,” BHP Billiton said.
In 2016, the company procured freight for close to one quarter of a billion tonnes of iron ore, coal and copper, conducting over 1500 voyages.