Mentions of the internet of things within the filings of companies in the maritime industry fell 46% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to the internet of things between July 2020 and June 2021 was 126% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the maritime industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. The internet of things is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether the internet of things is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the maritime industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned the internet of things at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 57% compared to 36% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to the internet of things.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the maritime industry, Korean Air Lines Co Ltd was the company which referred to the internet of things the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 12 internet of things-related sentences in the South Korea-based company's filings - 0.5% of all sentences. COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd mentioned the internet of things the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high internet of things mentions included ID Logistics Group, Sinotrans Ltd and Kintetsu World Express Inc.

Across all companies in the maritime industry the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on the internet of things came from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad. Of the document's 1,237 sentences, five (0.4%) referred to the internet of things.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on the internet of things and how important the issue is considered within the maritime industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning the internet of things more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into the internet of things have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises internet of things mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2021 was 'smart cities', which made up 59% of all internet of things subtheme mentions by companies in the maritime industry.