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Research Report: The global status of ferry digitalisation

Maritime

A time of challenges and opportunities for the ferry industry

Digital solutions offer a dual opportunity for the ferry industry; save money via enhanced operational efficiencies, and grow revenue via increasing passenger loyalty and ancillary revenues. Enabling digitalisation also relieves pressures on passenger ship safety, security and sustainability.

The global status of ferry digitalisation draws on ferry-specific findings from our Digitalisation Uncovered 2021 report and interviews with 10 leading ferry owners to understand the opportunities connectivity brings to the ferry industry, and the challenges that need to be overcome to realise the full potential of digitalisation.

Key report takeaways:

  • Reduce costs:
    One in three ferry operators expect digitalisation to bring savings of over $10m within 12 months with a suite of enhanced operational efficiencies.
  • Passenger Wi-Fi:
    Passengers will likely expect ferry operators to match the onboard experience they receive in the air or by rail/bus. Reliable connectivity creates an opportunity to enhance and monetise the customer experience, while expediting customer loyalty.
  • Post-Covid passenger safety:
    Digitalisation can support passenger confidence with new post-Covid protocols such as card-only contactless transactions and digital ticketing using the passengers’ own devices to help passengers feel safer.
  • Revenue generation:
    Four out of ten ferry operators interviewed mention revenue creation as an investment driver for digital solutions. Connectivity unlocks revenue generation via ancillary services offered to passengers, from add-ons to the journey, destination services, upgrades, retail and more.
  • Safety:
    Increased use of technology enables ferry operators to get ahead of safety issues, rather than react to them.
  • Customer loyalty:
    Following the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions, ferries will be in direct competition with other modes of transport. Digitalisation can expedite customer loyalty; ensure ferry travel is a preferred mode of transport; minimise customer dissatisfaction and in turn lower the cost burden of complaints.
  • Crew efficiencies:
    Digital technology proves vital in taking administrative strain away from crew members, improving compliance and moving away from paperwork. Advanced technologies such as virtual reality can allow remote technical input and specialist guidance from the shore. 

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