The global seaborne shipping industry moves an estimated 90% of world trade .

This massive worldwide industry is on the cusp of a revolution as great as its move from sail power to steam nearly two centuries ago.

In a few short years, unmanned ships are expected to begin moving silently across the world’s oceans like drones, delivering cargo faster, safer and cheaper.

The world’s first autonomous cargo vessel Yara Birkeland launched in 2019, and while crew will man the ship for a trial period, it is expected to be fully automated this year.

In this new age of shipping, piracy could become history, as autonomous vessels would be harder to board and have no visible control point such as a navigational bridge. If somehow hijacked, they could be locked down remotely or made to steam to safer waters.

Bad weather can also be mitigated via Dynamic Positioning and Global Navigation Satellite systems that automatically make finite adjustments to ships propellers, rudders and thrusters, optimizing safe handling in rough seas and eliminating human error caused by fatigue or misjudgment.

According to Oskar Levandar, Rolls-Royce’s vice president of Marine Innovation, Engineering, and Technology, “The shift from having a crew on board to having land-based technicians manage ships remotely will no doubt revolutionize the operation of the global supply chain, creating new services, more efficient schemes for leasing and pooling vessels, the emergence of online marketplaces for cargo delivery by sea, and other clever innovations for the digitally connected age. These changes will probably be disruptive, as new players enter a rather staid market, the same way as Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb have done in other realms.”

We’ve discovered a small Korean company that is at the tip of the spear of the disruption in shipping. And it’s still under Wall Street’s radar.

Based in Busan, South Korea, home of its partner Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilder, this small Korean technology company has already proven itself an industry leader ready to capitalize on revolutionary change.

HHI’s partner in the development of smart ship technologies, eMARINE Global (OTC: EMRN), entered the US capital markets in the second half of 2017 with a listing on OTC Markets. This is believed to be the initial step in the company’s progression to a major US exchange and global operations.

Today, EMRN is the de facto industry standard for critical technologies that underpin the future of smart ship development.

Including its partnership with HHI, EMRN is already working with four of the world’s six largest shipbuilders, including DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering), and Samsung Heavy Industries.

Other key partners and customers include SAAB, the Republic of Korea Navy, the Korean Coast Guard, NAVICO, HATTLELAND Technology, Teledyne CARIS and more.

Despite its impressive customer roster and a growing book of business, EMRN is still relatively unknown to US investors.

At the core of EMRN’s products offering is the company’s Intra-Ship Integrated Gateway (ISIG).

Consisting of both hardware and software, the main function of ISIG technology is to send data collected from a ship or fleet via smart-sensing technology to control operators on land.

EMRN currently supplies approximately 50 ISIGs to HHI alone each year, and the numbers are growing.

In June 2019, the company announced the expansion of its work with Hyundai. After installing its sensor technology on a growing number of HHI-built vessels, eMARINE is now developing a new Remote Maintenance System (RMS) for new build ships delivered by the world-leading shipbuilder.

The RMS system will enable ship owners to remotely monitor navigation status, weather conditions, engine operation status, and other critical system operations on a 24/7 basis, providing anytime anywhere access.

“The development of an RMS platform for Hyundai further secures our leadership position in the growing Marine IoT (Internet of Things) space,” stated Ung Gyu Kim, Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to deepening our relationship with Hyundai as we work together to develop a smart ship application that delivers customer satisfaction and the value-added features the market demands.”

EMRN’s RMS platform is part of a larger suite of technology offerings that includes its flagship electronic chart and display system (ECDIS), a technology the company has installed on 411 vessels to date, including 215 Korean naval ships.

The company has an ongoing contract with the Republic of Korea Navy for maintenance of its installed technology, providing a recurring revenue stream on top of its initial technology sales.

EMRN grew revenue 56% year-over-year to $1.4 million in its most recent quarter, ended September 30, 2019.

Strong revenue growth, combined with meaningful cost reductions, enabled EMRN to record operating income of more than $567,000 in the third quarter.

Looking forward, with the expansion of the company’s coastal surveillance business through several Vessel Traffic System (VTS) projects and the continued rollout of its autonomous ship solutions for public and private sector customers, EMRN management expects substantial revenue growth in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year period.

Combined with its ongoing development work with HHI and other major customers, we believe this backdrop provides the company with significant potential to generate growth in 2020 and beyond as the multi-billion-dollar maritime industry converts from analog to digital.

As a relatively unknown stock trading on the OTC Markets, EMRN remains thinly traded as of today.

While a steady pipeline of positive developments is expected in the coming quarters, investors looking to position early for the long-term upside still have an opportunity to accumulate shares at extremely low prices.

The stock currently trades for less than 1x its trailing 12-month sales.