Automation Report Focuses on the Future of Workers


The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and World Maritime University (WMU) have announced the launch of a flagship report on automation.

“Transport 2040: Automation Technology Employment – the Future of Work” investigates how the global transport industry will change as a result of automation and advanced technologies, with an emphasis on the jobs and employment of current transport workers.

The report, which concludes that the introduction of automation to global transport will be “evolutionary, rather than revolutionary”, has considered trends affecting road, rail and maritime routes.

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According to the independent assessment, “qualified human resources with the right skill sets will still be needed in the foreseeable future” despite increasing levels of automation.

Key findings featured within the report reveal that technological advances are inevitable, but will be gradual and vary by region.

In addition to this, the review focuses on 17 countries more specifically and assess how prepared they are for the technical innovation of the future.

The report notes that new technologies and automation are impacting transport sector workers through both the displacement and creation of jobs, and may result in difficult transitions for many of those workers.



The future of work needs to ensure that workers are suitably qualified and re-trained to effectively master new technologies and higher levels of automation, thereby protecting the jobs of those employed in the maritime sector.

Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) commented at the report’s launch event: “Member States and the industry need to anticipate the impact these changes may have and how they will be addressed.

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary, also spoke about the challenges facing modern workers: “Transport workers of today and tomorrow must be equipped with the required knowledge, skills and expertise for the jobs of tomorrow.

“The study provides the information needed to support these aims. The ITF remains committed to working in partnership to ensure our unions and members are central to developments in building the future of work.”



Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, emphasized the importance of the study: “The transportation sector is vital to national economies and the global economy as a whole.

“We hope this report will help prepare the transportation industry to continue to contribute to the wellbeing of societies and communities worldwide and provide decent work for all.” 

Read more:

"The future before us is challenging. However, technology is here to stay. The question is, how do we use it to enhance the human condition, and how do we prepare the work force for tomorrow?" – Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry at #TransportIn2040 report launch.

— WMU (@WMUHQ) January 15, 2019

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