The maritime sector is set to undergo rapid change over the coming years as a result of exponential growth, according to a new report from lifting solutions provider Kalmar.
Jari Hämäläinen, Director of Terminal Automation, has underlined how exponential growth patterns are often difficult to notice until it is too late to sufficiently adapt.
The container industry is one of the many business areas that is expected to change dramatically due to “exponentially growing technological capabilities”, progress that is anticipated to improve the performance, quality and safety of port systems.
Timo Lehto, Jari Hamalainen and Heimo Poutanen, Kalmar, discuss terminal automation in a recent Port Technology technical paper
While the speed of change will open up new, disruptive opportunities, as Hämäläinen argues, it will also challenge assumptions of how the container business actually operates.
While this sector is currently protected from rapid development by its position as “a niche business without the mass-market potential that would attract the attention of the world's leading technology players”, the rise of new solutions could make a big difference.
Hämäläinen has also asserted that business change, whether the industry of ports and terminals is prepared or not, is inevitable as a result of digital technology’s exponential growth.
In this ecosystem of innovation, the automation expert predicts that well-run, established companies are actually the ones most at risk, while new entrants are likely to shake up existing business models.
With technology developing so quickly, it is still impossible to forecast what major industries will look like in the next few decades, including the business of ports and terminals.