The shipping industry needs no introduction. It has been around for decades shaping the transportation and logistics market. It has been a major contributor to the expansion of business and trade across the globe and is considered an efficient and effective mode of transportation of goods and services. Over the years with the world moving towards a trend dictated by a fast-paced technological growth, the shipping methods have also been impacted positively in the way they do business.
There has been a shift from traditional methods of transportation to more advanced technological methods. As the world economy continues to evolve, it also determines import and export prices and the way business is conducted. Mergers and acquisitions have also become commonplace to ensure everyone gets a share of the pie.
Trends & Technologies
Traditionally, the shipping industry used cargo, ships, radio signals for its transportation and communication with the logistic providers. Today, sensor technology has replaced the manual method of checking equipment on-board. By mapping the entire machinery to sensors that uses wireless technology, it has now become for time and cost efficient for teams to monitor and track the working conditions of the machinery. Using sensors means that they need to calibrated for improved performance and maximising efficiency. By harnessing the capabilities of this technology and pairing it with artificial intelligence as well as machine learning, it is even possible to access remote locations, read data and provide an analysis within a faster time-period.
Large corporates such as Amazon and Google are employing deep learning to study the shipping industry and build advanced data centres that will provide them deeper insights into their customer’s consumption pattern. These intelligence technologies make it easier to navigate the waters even without human interaction! So there has been a huge shift from a labour-intensive strategy to an investment in leading technologies that can improve both the landscape of the business as well as the overall customer experience. The Internet of Things (IoT) has already taken the business world by storm. IoT refers to the network of devices connected seamlessly to each other to create an interdependent system using software, sensors, electronics and other technologies.
In the shipping industry, imagine hooking up all the devices to sensors for example. Monitoring and maintenance becomes easier since data is exchanged seamlessly and in real-time. The Maersk Group is a leader in this space. Technological development blurs boundaries, but it does throw curveballs. It does not mean that everything is going to happen within a blink of an eye. Remotely controlled shipping vessels are being built and will be tested. This means shipping vessels will navigate the waters unmanned.
However, on a practical note, assisted transportation has been put forward has a better alternative to a completely unmanned vessel. Blockchain is yet another buzzword that has been dominating the industry talks for a while now. The influence of the crypto-company on maritime transactions and global supply chain markets is huge today. Augmented reality, robotics, and virtual reality are other trends that continue to aggressively shape the way businesses think today.