Full Ship Automation: Yay or Nay?

Full Ship Automation: Yay or Nay?

Full Ship Automation: Yay or Nay?

Do you think full ship automation is possible? What are the signs that you’re seeing now that make you say so, or not?

Automation will require less seafarers onboard and may lead to many seafarers losing their jobs. What will you do in case this happens? Are you ready to reintegrate to a land-based job should this transpire? What kind of training or change of mindset do you think you’ll have to undergo to make sure your jobs remain secure?


Forewarned is forearmed. Full ship automation is possible in the near future since companies are pouring money for research and development to make this a reality. Hence, Filipino seafarers should brace for more challenging days ahead. With regards to closing the door on seafarer jobs, I believe it will open to other maritime opportunities for Filipinos. The Commission on Higher Education, higher educational institutions, Maritime Industry Authority and other concerned authorities should proactively think of full ship automation scenario and adapt the necessary changes to meet the needed workforce for this. It is also possible to retrain the displaced seafarers, just like when radio officers were removed during the implementation of GMDSS.

Cecilio Jr., Rahon, Instructor, AIMS


It is incumbent upon the maritime education industry to know these emerging technological developments in shipping to efficiently identify the gaps between actualities and the future requirements of maritime education and training. It is indeed a challenge but with the right planning, cooperation, commitment and support among the industry players, we will be able to conquer all adversities that confront the future of the Filipino seafarers! Bangon Marinerong Pinoy! March forward for a more vibrant seafaring industry!

Josefina Guittap


Autonomous ships have already been made by Rolls Royce, I can’t remember exactly though if it is in Norway. It’s a small-scale operation to test efficiency, a ship transiting between two islands controlled by onshore staff. Accordingly, this will not cost seafarers their jobs because they will be needed to operate and control the ships from land….or so they say. 

Yashika Torib, Public Information Officer, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary


It will happen soon but it will take time. We need to embrace change.

Nikko Hosana, Founder/CEO, Maritime City

Sa takbo ng panahon ngayon ay napaka-posible na ang full ship automation. Di ko masasabi na pabor ako rito sapagkat maraming mga bagay na kailangang pag-nilayan bago ito maisasakatuparan ito, katulad ng maintainance ng barko (maliban nalang kung may robot narin na gagawa nito) at mga di inaasahang problema sa makina at kagamitan sa barko (maliban nalang din kung autorepair narin ang mga kagamitan). Kung ang sistemang ito ay magaganap na walang komplikasyong haharapin, ito ay lubos kong susuportahan. Sa pagbaba ng bilang ng maaaring magbarko dahil dito, ang akin tanging maaring gawin ay umasa na pananatilihin ako ng aking ahensya. Kung hindi naman, maaari namang magtrabaho sa lupa, magbukas ng sariling negosyo, o magaral ng ibang bokasyon.

Aries Valdez, 3rd Officer

Possible, but I am not in favor of it. If this happens, we have no other option but to work on land where, with teaching as one of the best options. Others might start businesses out of their savings. As early as today, we should be ready for anything that might happen.

Jay Mart Naelgas Eleazar, seafarer


It’s possible. Technology is moving fast. Modern equipment ease seafaring but also threatens seafarers. One has to have CPDs (Continuing Professional Development) should this transpire. The maritime industry is multinational  and managerial training can be developed in order to cope with the qualifications land-based job requires.

Niel Borja, Associate Member, The Nautical Institute

Full ship automation is too impossible because of the fact that nothing beats the human eye when it comes to observation of equipment and machinery (to be maintained). When problems arise while on voyage, the ship cannot rebuild itself like the one seen in the movie “Passengers” of Chris Pratt and Jenifer Lawrence. Even the technologically advanced ship in the movie malfunctioned and needed a literal working human hand. The movie itself tells us that machines cannot work alone without the help of human. Just imagine this, a machine only does what it is programmed for, so whenever a circumstance happens beyond to what the machine is capable of, there will be nothing that can comprehend, make a solution, and decide.

Gesal Jude Raule Hosana, OIC-NW, Magsaysay MOL

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