Autonomous Ships Market

Autonomous Ship Market worth $14.2 billion by 2030

According to a research report "Autonomous Ships Market by Autonomy (Fully Autonomous, Remote Operations, Partial Automation), Ship Type (Commercial, Defense), End-Use (Linefit, Retrofit), Solution (Systems, Software, Structures), Propulsion and Region - Global Forecast to 2030" published by MarketsandMarkets, the overall autonomous ship (OEM+ aftermarket) is estimated to be USD 5.8 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 14.2 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2020 to 2030. Asia Pacific is projected to account for the largest size of the autonomous ship market from 2020 to 2030. Increasing number of retrofitting and upgradation contracts of autonomous ship is increasing the demand. Autonomous ship offer prompt, efficient, and reliable services to the navies of different countries.

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“ The commercial ships segment of the market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period”

Commercial ships are vessels used to carry commercial cargo or to transport passengers. The commercial fleet is classified into bulk carriers, containers, tankers, specialized vehicles, and offshore vehicles. Increasing the level of shipboard automation and systems integration can lead to significant operational savings for commercial ships. Thus, this segment offers significant potential for the autonomous ships market.

As most global commercial cargo is transported through the sea, issues related to navigational safety, risk management at sea, and human resources protection have high importance for shipping companies.

“The Line fit segment of the autonomous ship market is projected to have the largest market share during the forecast period”

Several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) install equipment in new ships before their delivery to help save the installation time of components in ships post-delivery. This also eliminates the need for a separate workforce by private ship owners for the installation of retrofit components in their ships. Companies such as ABB, Kongsberg, Siemens, and Wartsila are offering line fit autonomous ships. Several projects are undergoing for the development of line fit autonomous ships. For example, the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) is a collective of universities, designers, and manufacturers who are focused on developing an autonomous vessel in conjunction with the ship operators Finferries and ESL Shipping.

“The Fully autonomous segment of the autonomous ship market is projected to have a higher CAGR during the forecast period”

Fully autonomous ships can make their own decisions based on artificial intelligence and sensor fusion technology. All the systems in autonomous ships are automated, and operators just program the ships to take specific routes. Companies such as Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg are developing fully autonomous ships. For example, in 2018, Kongsberg and VARD to develop a fully autonomous ship. The vessel YARA Birkeland was expected to be remotely operated by 2020 and fully autonomous by 2022. The Yara Birkeland vessels hull was launched at Vard Braila in Romania in February 2020 and was expected to arrive at Vard Brevik in Norway in May 2020; and was scheduled to be fitted with various control- and navigation systems and undergo testing before delivery to Yara. In 2016, Rolls-Royce partnered with VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland) to design, test, and validate remotely operated ships.

“The software segment of the autonomous ship market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2020 to 2030”

The data analysis and management software of autonomous ships are used to carry out various functions such as smooth ship operations, timely health monitoring of ships, and effective management of vessel traffic. The software segment has been further divided into fleet management software, artificial intelligence, and data analysis software.

“The autonomous ship market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period”

The autonomous ship market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 18.5% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2030. The growth of the market in this region can be attributed to the rise in military spending (both in defense and homeland security) of the countries in the region to enhance their defense capabilities. China, South Korea, Japan, India, and the Rest of Asia Pacific have been considered under Asia Pacific for this study. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2019, Asia accounted for 64% of the global container throughput handled by the world’s top 30 container ports and nine of the world’s 10 busiest container ports. The shipping industry has been growing, with traditional large shipbuilders such as South Korea, China, and Japan enhancing their offshore capabilities and providing a single marine solution for both, shipbuilding and offshore.

According to UNCTAD, South Korea, Japan, and China are the major players in the shipbuilding industry and are expected to account for 80% of the tanker orders during the forecast period. Shipbuilding companies from Japan, South Korea, and China, are also among the largest players in each of the four major segments, namely, tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, and offshore vessels. Asian countries active in shipbuilding, seafaring, and ship recycling have been affected by the pandemic due to reductions and delays in new ships delivery and the freeze in ship recycling activities, in addition to lockdown measures and travel restrictions.

According to UNCTAD, in 2018, China, Japan, and South Korea maintained their leadership in global ship production, representing around 90% of shipbuilding activities. Hence, Asia Pacific is considered a lucrative region for shipbuilding.

Asia Pacific has witnessed rapid economic development over the years, increasing maritime trade. This rise in sea trade has subsequently led to an increasing demand for ships to transport manufactured goods worldwide. Thus, the rising number of ships has increased the demand for autonomous ships in the Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific is estimated to account for the largest share of 60.1% of the autonomous ships market in 2020. It is estimated to be USD 3,526 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 8,662 million by 2030.

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