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The Digitalisation Megatrend

The environment of seaports is very dynamic. Megatrends of today include:

1. Globalisation, distribution of work, changing trade patterns and structural changes in production driven by smart factories and increased customization, for example;

2. Demographic change, such as an ageing population and the impact on the labour market;

3. Rising levels of urbanisation, resulting in increasing problems at Port-City interfaces;

4. Sustainability, meaning the demand for environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable port operations.

These megatrends have an impact on society and economy. Seaports are faced with the challenge to cope with these megatrends. Amongst other effects, they demand completely new paradigms regarding the strategic orientation of seaports. As an example, increasing globalization has led to growth in transport volumes as well as port throughput volumes, resulting in bottlenecks and congested hinterland transport connections.

Katrin Brümmerstedt, Research Associate, Ralf Fiedler, Senior Researcher, Group Leader, Fraunhofer

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