The Digital Transformation of Maritime Freight

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ABI Research have issued their latest Analysis Report on the maritime freight sector.

The maritime container shipping (dry and reefer) industry boasts the largest value in the supply chain, with a material impact on many countries’ gross domestic product. According to the World Shipping Council (WSC), the trade value is more than US$4 trillion in goods on an annual basis. Approximately 6,000 maritime container ships are active at any given point, along global seas and waterways.   This industry is a critical part of the often manual, fragmented, inefficient, and expensive End-to-End (ETE) supply chain. A typical shipment can leverage more than 200 interactions and 25 stakeholders.

Transformative opportunities abound from the fragmented industry, with many family-owned companies generating hundreds of millions of data points each day, with nowhere near the transparency, security, environmental health, and efficiencies optimized.  Opportunities and challenges lie in the total lack of data standards, with even digital providers scouring masses of spreadsheets daily for pricing. Like the trucking and rail industries, liability and safety remain issues, with between 75-96% of maritime accidents caused by human error, often due to fatigue.

New digitization solutions, catering to the maritime freight industry offer the game-changing opportunity to leverage big data and to significantly reduce paperwork and manual non-value-added activities from a range of stakeholders, while maintaining accountability.  The technologies best poised to disrupt the maritime shipping industry over the next 10 years include: big data and analytics, blockchain, electrification, assisted and automated operations, drones and robotics, and AR/VR. Other nascent technologies, from 3D printing to fully unmanned ships, are farther out in terms of adoption. Many of the technologies above have already been tested or implemented, at least in part, by other modes in the supply chain and in multiple other industries.

Further details can be found on their website

 

 

Mike Godfrey
Author: Mike Godfrey