If there’s one lesson to be learned from the current upheavals in shipping, ports and supply chains, it is this: we can’t simply go on the way we are.
As shipping lines, ports, hauliers, rail operators and others struggle to cope with unprecedented demand and congestion, shippers are enduring rocketing freight rates, unsustainable delays and often a complete lack of visibility.
Meanwhile, the entire logistics sector is juggling the challenge of a shortage of skilled labour with the need to decarbonise operations and get up to speed with digitalisation.
Ports know they need to increase efficiency, deliver reliability and reduce carbon, but optimisation is often held back by a lack of data, knowledge creation, infrastructure or accessibility, as well as human involvement.
Effective automation certainly offers answers when it comes to ports – delivering efficiency, speed, resilience, safety and reliability, they reduce the need for humans to be in operational areas where our future generation will not want to work, play a key role in ‘smart’ systems, eliminate waste and unnecessary effort, and reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
A simple term is zeroing waste and downtime for sustainable supply chain.