Maritime transportation is a crucial link in the global supply chain, ferrying everything from cars to food to medical supplies across our ocean. But as global trade continues to grow, environmental consequences like air and water pollution, wildlife collisions, and underwater noise are increasing alongside it. Regional and local emissions data are spread across various private and public silos and portals. The data is usually aggregated to provide annual fuel consumption and is often limited to ships above 5000 GT (more than 100 meters long). A few shipping companies share fuel emissions data openly for the society at large. There is also an ongoing debate over whether emissions accounting for shipping should cover only what is expelled from the ship’s chimney or from the whole fuel supply chain. Without a data-driven approach to fully understand the environmental costs of maritime transport, companies, governments, and regulators are relying on incomplete information and guesswork to solve this mounting problem.


C4IR Ocean, an independent and non-profit foundation established jointly by Aker and the World Economic Forum, aims to bridge these data gaps using its Ocean Data Platform, an open and collaborative data platform that combines data, people, and technology for a healthy and productive ocean. All shipping vessels generate data. Additionally, vessel traffic services use AIS to monitor vessel traffic and positioning, generating their own datasets. ODP brings these disparate streams together in Azure, where advanced analytics as well as empirical and machine learning models are applied to help forecast GHG emissions and other environmental costs of transportation activities. With this information, shipping companies can plan for an environmentally friendly future by reducing emissions with zero-emission vessels and avoiding areas that are sensitive to underwater noise or wildlife collisions.

How the Ocean Data Platform uses Azure

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Aerial view of cargo ship in the ocean.

Unlocking the power of ocean data to foster a healthier and more productive ocean.

A cargo ship filled with cars.