Editor's note: This latest offering from one of Port Technology's most regular and well-read contributors takes us beyond the port and explores how we can plan the supply chain from an end-to-end perspective.
I imagine a future where a terminal will be able to adjust its operations dynamically to meet the required service level agreement (SLA) for each vessel in the supply chain. This terminal of the future will perform in an ecosystem that helps a vessel get in and out of port efficiently while providing visibility and predictability to the whole ocean supply chain.
There is a long way to go, but we are clearly moving toward such a future, and automation and digitization are central drivers in turning this dream into reality. Before we can reach this future, we have to address fundamental constraints in the way the current container shipping industry works. While we may talk about collaboration and data sharing, at present planning processes across the container flow take place in silos, with little standardization or real-time information exchange and few opportunities for collaboration.
As a result, all stakeholders lack the critical visibility and connectivity required to reach the next level of efficiency and productivity.