Top 8 Emerging Marine and Defense Industry Trends to Look for in 2023

The marine and defense industry is one of the most dynamic industries in the world as the industry receives constant innovation and redefinition. Recently, with the rising geopolitical tensions worldwide, the demand for maritime security has also been on the rise. Moreover, the increased use of unmanned vessels, including submarines, patrol boats, and military helicopters have also grown significantly as it requires fewer manpower hours than traditional manned vessels. On the other hand, advances in technology are helping marine firms reduce operating costs while maintaining or improving performance levels. Out of all that are happening in the marine and defense industry, our team of analysts at Research Nester have penned down a list of some of the key focus areas of businesses in the industry, along with the list of the major emerging trends that would be positively impacting this sector in 2023 as well as the coming few years.

Key Focus Areas of the Marine & Defense Industry

  • The rise of cybersecurity threats has created a need for more secure marine systems.
  • Increasingly strategic partnerships between businesses within the maritime community have led to new innovative products and services being developed.
  • Backed by the recent advancements in technology, the use of shipboard sensors has increased massively as they make the ships smarter and more efficient. This gives the sailors greater battlefield situational awareness.

Top 8 Trends in the Marine and Defense Industry:


Emerging Trends in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence - Automation is becoming an important part of the marine and defense industry, as it helps to reduce costs and increase efficiency. This is especially true for processes that are repetitive or dangerous, such as ship maintenance or missile testing. The market for artificial intelligence in the military is anticipated to be valued at around USD 17.51 billion by 2035 up from USD 6.9 billion in 2022.


Offshore Extractive Logistics - As oil prices continue to rise, there has been a shift away from traditional land-based supply chains towards offshore extractive logistics systems. This approach allows products to be shipped directly from suppliers located near the production areas to consumers worldwide without having to go through conventional shipping channels like ports or airports.


Innovative Materials & Technologies - The use of innovative materials, such as marine composites, along with advance technologies in maritime vessels would continue to grow, as they offer many benefits including reduced weight (due to their high strength/toughness properties), low emissions, improved mobility capabilities, and enhanced safety features. By 2035, it is anticipated that the size of the global aerospace and defense materials market will be USD 31.4 Billion.


Driverless Cars on Water - Driverless cars on water may soon become a reality, and the potential benefits are vast. For one, fleets of self-driving boats could dramatically reduce congestion on major cities' waterways. This would save millions of gallons of gasoline each year and create new opportunities for marine transportation. The technology is also improving rapidly, so, it is likely, driverless cars will eventually be able to navigate in tricky or dangerous waters environments like rivers and oceans. Driverless boats could even help disaster relief efforts by ferrying food, medical supplies, and other aid to areas affected by natural disasters quickly and safely. All in all, there are plenty of reasons why driverless cars on the water are poised to make a huge impact on society over the next few years. Although still, largely theoretical at this point, driverless cars could play a major role in future maritime operations by replacing human drivers with computer algorithms. By 2035, the unmanned marine vehicle market is anticipated to be worth USD 19.38 billion.


Energy-Efficient Integrations - Energy-efficient integrations strives to be an environmentally friendly business and offers customers several ways in which they support this goal. These include things such as buying Greenpower credits for their electricity use or donating money to organizations that promote environmental awareness. In addition to benefiting the environment, Energy-Efficient Integrations' clients see lower bills due to increased insulation levels and decreased usage related to the installation of smart technologies such as LED lights or weatherization projects.


Marine IoT – Marine internet of things (IoT) is a unique and evolving sector that offers tremendous benefits for businesses of all sizes. Maritime IoT is a rapidly growing field that involves the use of sensors and computing platforms to collect data from ships at sea. This data can then be used for a variety of purposes such as navigation, ship maintenance, security scanning, oil spill detection, and more. Maritime IoT has many potential applications in both commercial and military realms. At a CAGR of 11% during the projected period 2023 and 2035, it is anticipated that the market for maritime satellite communication would increase from USD 6.40 billion in 2022 to USD 14.20 billion by 2035. According to our analysts, there are three key areas where maritime IoT can help companies reach their goals, namely, safety, and efficiency:

  • 1. Safety: By using data collected through marine sensors and networks, shipping companies can improve operational safety by detecting early warning signs of accidents or hazardous weather conditions. This would allow ships to avoid dangerous situations or change course, if necessary, to continue sailing safely. In addition, this information could also be used to prevent piracy by tracking vessel movements across global waters.
  • 2. Efficiency: Shipping containers move around the world at an incredibly fast pace – more than 10 times faster than cars. By gathering digital evidence from container locations and routes throughout the supply chain shippers have an increased ability to track shipments in real-time and optimize routing decisions accordingly.

Cybersecurity - Cyberattack risk is the biggest drawback of moving from manual parchment methods to digital instruments. malicious hackers try to obtain crucial information and take over the system by finding flaws in the network and going through a number. To continue hacking into new credit cards or clients, the stolen data is sold illegally. This adversely harms the company or vital infrastructure and raises lawyer fees. Startups address this problem by delivering both generic and custom cybersecurity solutions for maritime environments. In light of the growing adoption of IoT, autonomous ships, and data analytics, cybersecurity assures the continuity of ship operations, navigation systems, and crucial network infrastructure. As per our data, 46 marine cybersecurity incidents were recorded between 2010 and 2020.


Clean Energy - The most popular fuel that propels marine power systems and equipment is marine heavy fuel oil (HFO), a petroleum-based compound that is responsible for a large portion of maritime operations' emissions. Similar to other sectors, the marine sector needs to make the switch to low-carbon, renewable energy sources. The industry is turning to biofuels, wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel technologies for propulsion in this field. Many startups nowadays sell the last several boat electrification equipment. The fleets of huge maritime firms must still be converted to low-carbon fuels to boost this shift. As a starter, biofuels are an expensive and low-carbon option since they probably afford HFO without demanding to restructure. Since they significantly reduce emissions without hurting vessel productivity, electric and hydrogen propulsion is on the rise globally.


The Future of the Marine and Defense Sectors

The future for the marine and defense industries is bright. The global market for maritime security, homeland security, offshore energy production, and naval operations in combination is projected to grow from about USD 1.1 trillion in 2022 to $2.9 trillion by 2035. This growth is being driven by increased demand for the transportation of goods and people across watery boundaries as well as the increasingly difficult geopolitical situation around the world. This growth presents opportunities not only for traditional players in these sectors but also for new entrants that can capitalize on innovations in technology, logistics management, design engineering, human resources management, customer service/sales processes, and business analysis

Some of the other opportunities that are available in the maritime and defense industries are:


Maritime Cargo Management - Companies that manage shipping containers using a fleet of vessels can often find themselves in high demand. These companies need employees who know navigation, cargo handling, and freight forwarding. Around 80% of all commodities are said to be transported by water, making maritime transportation the backbone of global trade. Around 1.85 billion metric tonnes of freight were transported globally in 2020.


Marine Engineering & Construction - This is a field that offers many options for career growth, including the design and construction of ships and boats as well as oil exploration platforms. Those with experience in this area may be able to work their way up to positions such as project manager or superintendent.


Security Consulting & Surveillance - Organizations involved in maritime security require specialists with knowledge about territorial waters, ship identification systems, vessel tracking software, anti-piracy measures, and more. Individuals currently working in this field may be able to move into positions such as technical analysts or information assurance officers if they show consistent excellence in their work.

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