Digital Transformation: Are Start-Ups the New Leaders?



Mare Straetmans, Managing Director, PortXL


Editor's note: The digital wave encompassing the contemporary port sector is creating new opportunities for forward-thinking tech start-ups to influence the industry in new ways. This paper addresses whether the start-up has now become the key player in the industry

The maritime and logistics sectors are changing rapidly. Digital technologies enabling online booking, real time insight and unbelievable analytics have changed the game and many newcomers are challenging even the developments of last year. Whether it is start-ups like Flexport or Xeneta or large corporates such as Amazon, everyone, from logistics service providers, to shipping companies, to ports and freight
forwarders, all are stepping-up their digital game.

The market is in flux. So what is the Holy Grail? If you are a maritime or logistics company many people will probably urge you to start implementing smart analytics, or perhaps they’d recommend you realize real time informati on sharing, or even better, to implement blockchain. The future is uncertain, but perhaps these are solutions that will make all the difference as we move into the digital future. However, in the Netherlands we have a saying: “The best pilots are ashore!” this means as much as when you look at a problem from a distance with a holistic view, a solution seems pretty obvious, but when you are at the wheel and…

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