TT Club: The Container Industry’s Future Report


Celebrating its 50 anniversary, leading international freight transport insurer TT Club, has published a report on the future on the container industry — “Brave new world? – Container transport in 2043”.

The qualitative report, publishing in conjunction with global management consulting firm McKinsey, summarizes the thoughts and opinions of 30 industry leaders on what the future holds for the industry over the next 25 years.

Senior Partner at McKinsey, Martin Joerss, said: “More than 50 years after the introduction of the container, the container transport industry faces the transformative rise of digital, data, analytics, and automation.

“There is a range of futures where digital fundamentally changes the industry’s economics – for the benefit of both customers and industry participants – but getting there will require vision and relentless execution.”

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In the development of the report, respected industry leaders from law firms, logistic centres, financial intermediaries and various disruptors and innovators were interviewed.

From the research, TT Club and McKinsey have drawn five conclusions on where the industry is headed and have examined four specific future scenarios — two of which focus on digitalization and two of which focus on trade development.

The five conclusions TT Club have drawn from the research are:

  • The physical characteristics of the industry are unlikely to change, as the container and the ships that carry them will still exist over the next 25 years
  • Trade flows will become more balanced across trade lanes as incomes converge between East Asia and developed economies, and the emerging economies in South Asia and Africa “catch up”
  • Automation will be broadly adopted across the value chain, especially on the landside in ports, terminals, rail and trucking, to unlock significant efficiencies
  • Digital, data, and analytics will cause a fundamental shift in the sources of value creation and customers will expect a high level of reliability, transparency and user-friendliness
  • The industry leaders in 2043 will look very different; some will consolidate, others may change their business model — some will be “digital natives”, either start-ups or e-commerce players optimizing the container transport leg of their supply chain

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Chief Executive Officer of TT Club, Charles Fenton, commented: “TT Club was founded in 1968 by some of the early adopters of the unitisation of cargo, the container.

“We have been keen to mark our 50th anniversary of the start of a Member-owned, mutual insurer by launching this report.

“From inception, TT Club has had a philosophy of listening to its Members and sharing their experiences to make the industry safer and to minimize risk whilst lobbying for and embracing change when and where it’s required.

“The container’s simplicity and modularity has made it the mode of choice for transporting many goods across the globe.

“This examination of the wisdom and perceptiveness of the industry’s opinion formers is, we believe, relevant in exploring how such strengths will develop the container transport environment by 2043.”

The full report can be accessed on TT Club’s website.

Read more:

  • TT Club, the leading international transport and logistics insurance provide, has announced its financial results for 2017, with A.M. Best affirming its A- (Excellent) rating

  • TT Club’s Andrew Huxley has raised the issue of cyber activity being a daily operational risk that “needs addressing urgently”

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