Many major players in the ocean freight supply chain risk being left behind as more operations become automated.
This was the key point raised by speakers (pictured below) in the Supply-Chain Collaboration and Automation session taking place on Day One (April 19, 2017) of Port Technology's Container Terminal Automation Conference.
The session started with a keynote address by speaker Inna Kuznetsova, President and COO of ocean shipping electronic marketplace INTTRA (pictured above).
A total of six exciting session have taken place with five more to come today on Day Two.
However, the conversation became very introspective on Day One as Kuznetsova focused on the need for digitalisation in the logistics chain.
Kuznetsova said that unsuccessful pilot projects have been a small price to pay when compared to the “much bigger potential of failure” in not being able to advance technology in the shipping sector.
She said: “We will see the divide between those companies that embrace technology and those that don’t getting wider.”
Kuznetsova highlighted the intensive merging of the top ocean carriers over the last two years as a clear sign of the importance in adopting new technologies.
She added: “It’s always the company with better innovation and strategy that invests in technology and takes over rivals.”
However, Kuznetsova emphasised that it still wasn’t too late to adopt new digital practices.
She called for more standardisation and collaboration between everyone involved in the movement of containers to overcome the problem.
“Everybody should be included in optimising the supply chain.
“The same principal applies to getting rid of easy and manual tasks and automating them.
“If we can reduce the number of hours truckers wait and improve the standards, the end customer will benefit.”
Keynote speaker (presenting) Inna Kuznetsova, INTTRA; and (left to right) Wolfgang Lehmacher, World Economic Forum; Douglas Watson, Ericsson; Dr. Stefan Wiech, HPC Hamburg Port Consulting; Richard Hepworth, Trelleborg Marine Systems (TMS) and Neel Ratti, Tuscor Lloyd
James AA Khan, MD of Port Technology, raised the point made by many in his opening speech.
Khan said: “We are seeing new players entering our space with new technology and innovation.
“However, they are not the usual suspects.
“We must first try to understand these new business models and new technologies and only then will we be able to see how they can improve container shipping.
“Only yesterday PTI reported on Maersk teaming up with the digital start-up Plug and Play.”
The second day of the conference promises many more discussions on technological advancement as keynote speaker, Nick Earle, Senior Vice President of Hyperloop One, will be explaining how the industry is about to take a step forward in freight movement after the company’s recent announcement on its vision for the US.
He will also be joined by Gerhard Fischer from Siemens, who will be giving the closing keynote address.
If you want to keep up with the conversation on Twitter use the hastag #PTIEvent.
Douglas Watson from Ericsson's maritime business took part in both the Supply-Chain Collaboration and Automation and the Process and Performance sessions at PTI's Container Terminal Automation Conference on April 19, 2017.
This is what he had to say: