As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to put downward pressure on the shipping industry, organizations have an obligation to operate more efficiently and profitably.

They must do so all while catering to customer demands which have become increasingly more and more sophisticated. Global seaports are of great importance to the world economy and global container traffic has grown by an average of 10% annually. The steady growth of exports and imports presents major logistical and technical problems worldwide. Given this, shipping and maritime logistics are bound to largely benefit from Big Data as well as novel emerging digital technologies.

Today, more than 80% of the world’s goods transport is handled by sea. As global customers request more, faster streamlined services, providers must offer solutions to deliver more value along the supply chain – a goal that can only be reached with digitalization. Digital technologies continue to transform areas of social life and industrial economic processes, shipping and logistics included.

Efficiency, security, and energy savings are some of the many benefits that can be attained with the emergence of numerous data tools and increasingly advanced technologies.

These tools and technologies include GPS navigation, real-time weather, smart containers equipped with sensors, and RFID transponders – all put in place for optimized transport and distribution. Data analytics technologies such as telematics systems – built to record speed, idling, fuel consumption, etc. – are used to help reduce wait times and bottlenecks in ports by keeping handlers and drivers informed on container locations and loading/unloading.

Digitalization will allow the industry to set a new framework on how information can flow between counter-parties and set new standards of information exchange in this “smart” era, defining the future of shipping. The industry as a whole has much to gain from adopting new digital solutions and we can look forward to following and contributing to these digital developments.