Maritime and port startups are proliferating worldwide, with 528 of them now based in 45 countries across five continents.

A study by Wilson Sons, Brazil’s large maritime and port logistics operator, shows that today there are 528 startups in the maritime and port sector worldwide, some of which offering solutions directly targeting this industry.

These startups are based in 45 countries on five continents, according to the unprecedented study. The United States leads the ranking with 81 startups, followed by Israel with 67. Brazil ranks eighth with 22 startups, ahead of France (19), Spain (17) and Norway (12).

According to the study “Overview of Maritime and Port Startups”, most startups offer fleet management and monitoring solutions (155). In second place (147) are those that support freight and international trade.

Another four categories were identified: specialised services (93), port and terminal management (64), cybersecurity and sustainability (50) and shipbuilding and maintenance (18).

As for technologies, 214 of the shiptechs (more than 40% of the total) develop solutions using Big Data & Analytics. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, involving 85 startups, ranks second among the top technologies, ahead of Internet of Things, Sensors & Monitoring (83).

Artificial Intelligence is used to optimise ship arrival dates by shipping companies,  and Machine Learning is used to predict fuel consumption and plan optimal shipping routes. Internet of Things, Sensors and Monitoring can be used to predict fuel consumption and plan optimal shipping routes.

In addition to these, Robotics & Drones (42 startups), Blockchain (20) and Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality (12) were also identified in the study.

“There are currently about 20 innovation ecosystems across all continents, involving more than 500 startups, mostly from the USA, the Netherlands, Israel, United Kingdom and Singapore. However, despite the relevance, the economic potential and the strong demand for technological solutions in our sector, we believe that the number of startups may increase significantly.” said Wilson Sons CEO Fernando Salek.

According to the study, presented at the 27th edition of Intermodal South America 2023 in São Paulo, data from the World Trade Organization, indicate that 80% to 90% of global trade uses sea and river transport, while the goods transported are worth about US$ 5 trillion in added value.

Large-scale changes now taking place will transform the global scenario, with four main trends: proliferation of shiptechs with integrated solutions, regulatory changes focused on decarbonization, collaboration and crowdsourcing, and remote or autonomous operations of ships and port equipment.