Jari Hämäläinen, Kalmar’s Director of Terminal Automation, has described the “$17 billion worth of waste and inefficiency in the global supply chain” as a “great opportunity” for maritime businesses in the company's latest blog post.
The rise of disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, is expected to create an autonomous supply chain that can adapt to real-time data.
In addition to this, Hämäläinen has argued that the “openness and transparency” of new systems will “drastically increase the productivity and efficiency of global container logistics”.
View Kalmar's cargo handling systems for ports and terminals in PTI's Supplier Directory
Once “intelligent solutions” are able to “span the entire supply chain”, Hämäläinen predicts that the speed of global business will accelerate, also bringing about “a radical shift” in how maritime companies operate.
As a result, companies implementing upgraded business models, to optimise the flow of cargo, can benefit from this morphing digital marketplace.
In addition to this, Hämäläinen has projected that it “may not be long before the world's biggest container logistics company never touches a physical container, nor owns or operates a single ship, terminal or container handling machine”.
Timo Lehto, Jari Hamalainen and Heimo Poutanen discuss terminal automation in a recent Port Technology technical paper
Simply owning and operating physical assets will not be enough for businesses seeking to evolve, the greater opportunity belonging to those companies who can cut as many of today’s existing players out of the loop.
Although many of the software-based start-ups entering the maritime space will “fail and disappear”, as Hämäläinen has acknowledged, a few “will end up changing the world”.
Does the container shipping industry “carry on with business as usual”, or does it “start changing the world” itself before other companies leave it no choice?