Stena Bulk’s Digitalisation Journey
May 2022

By Peter Björkborg, Manager Sustainability & Transformation at Stena Bulk
May 2022

Over the last couple of years, we have seen the shipping industry steadily accelerate its much needed digital transformation. For us at Stena Bulk, digitalisation of operations is of prime importance. This is not least because we believe that the digital transformation of our sector goes hand in hand with decarbonisation, and neither can fully happen without the other.

We started our journey six years ago by building a digital platform for our operations, as there were no existing platforms on the market at the time. In line with our wider approach to innovation at every level, at that time this was seen as a pioneering step; a step that we are proud that the industry has followed en-masse.

We started in this way because we saw many latent inefficiencies in how we operated as an industry. Digital technologies provided us with a straightforward means to tackle these issues and run our ships more efficiently, by combining operational data from different sources into a common platform.

At the same time, we believed that the existential need to decarbonise shipping would require the industry to become more lightweight, agile, and adaptable, rather than being held back by legacy processes and procedures. While there is always an element of risk and investment costs involved, there was a good business case to develop these digital platforms sooner rather than later.

Today, there is a range of commercialised software platforms on the market, meaning that companies taking their first steps towards digitalisation do not need to invest significant financial, time and human resources on developing proprietary technologies.

This means that the ‘barrier to entry’ for the sector to digitalise has been lowered tremendously. As a result, digital technology development is advancing hugely and will continue to do so over the next few years.

Indeed, we regularly engage in trials of technology solutions across traditional ship technology, operational technology, and commercial technology to push ourselves and others in the shipping community and prove that taking firm, effective steps towards digitalisation is possible today.

At Stena Bulk, we strive to champion innovation in core areas of the business where it is sensible to do so, while also finding an approach that aligns with customer demands and brings them along in the journey. Our industry is waking up to the fact that innovation pays off in the medium to long term, and we are humbled to have been one of the pioneers of this approach.

As a progressive voice in shipping, we remain committed to our sector colleagues and the maritime community, and we will continue to share knowledge and communicate what we’re doing to digitalise our fleet to the industry and the world.

Gothenburg, May 2022
Peter Björkborg, Manager Sustainability & Transformation at Stena Bulk