Navis, a provider of operational technologies for ports and terminals, has revealed its predictions for which trends will drive the container shipping industry in 2019.
Part of the Cargotec company’s forecast, for the next year, is increased IT spending, with businesses in the maritime sector expected to adopt new technologies.
The top areas for investment, according to Navis, include automation, big data analytics, and cloud services, while technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain are viewed as a lower priority.
Greater advancement, in terms of collaboration and standardization, has also been predicted for 2019, especially as the recent Business Bellwether Report highlighted that the industry’s ability to share data requires serious improvement.
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Younus Aftab, Chief Technology Officer at Navis, said: “For transformative technology to take hold, I believe more industry leadership will be required on issues such as standards. The digital world needs interoperability and this requires agreeing upon and enabling better standards.”
Although there has been some concern that a rise in trade protectionism and new tariffs could threaten profitability, 82% of respondents to a recent Navis survey have echoed the industry’s confidence that continued stabilization and reduced losses are on the horizon.
Another development expected for 2019 is the increased use of smart containers, with Maersk already announcing investments in disposable tracking devices and refrigerated boxes.
View Navis' terminal operating systems on PTI's supplier directory
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company also plans to equip 50,000 of its dry containers with smart technology, allowing shippers to gain transparency into the flow of containers through their supply chain.
In addition to this, Navis predicts that the shipping industry will start moving towards digitalization at a more rapid pace, maturing technologies amplifying the demand for terminals to invest and automate.
Navis already works with 20 semi- or fully-automated terminals worldwide, and expects to see continued improvement and optimization at these facilities during the next year, with new levels of productivity set to be achieved.
A final point of emphasis, from the Cargotec company, is improved carrier capacity; ship owners and ocean carriers will increasingly seek operation-based opportunities to increase the cargo intake of their vessels.
Patrick Brehmer, Navis, discusses how to make vessel visits more efficient in a recent Port Technology technical paper
Operational and environmental efficiency needs to increase in 2019, following the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) introduction of a 50% target for reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Andy Barrons, Chief Strategy Officer at Navis, commented on emerging trends for 2019: “Technology is just one part of overhauling a traditional supply chain industry.
“It may sound obvious but people and the investment decisions they make about the way the supply chain operates in the future will be the critical factor in speeding up transformative change.”