The shipping industry is notorious for being behind the times, but that stereotype may be challenged in the coming years.

Around the world, new applications are being created and launched that will enhance the efficiency and efficacy of all things global transportation.

According to an article on Splash247.com, an app was recently launched that is said to have the capabilities to greatly reduce space inefficiencies within the shipping industry.

Studies were done to show that not all FCL containers are actually fully-utilized. The new application will work to match LCL cargo with FCL containers that have space to spare. The app will serve to greatly reduce the percentage of unused space on vessels. It would only take one or two days longer from origin to destination than regular FCL cargo and significantly less time than would a regular LCL shipment. The downside of pairing extra space with LCL shipments is that the mixed cargo could take longer to clear customs which could cause supply-chain delays.

Another application ready to hit the market is another matching app that has been referred to as the “shipping Tinder”. It will use algorithms to match users with “real-time and precise communication centered around business opportunities related to maritime and transportation.” Not only will the app match based on relevant business opportunities, it will also serve to troubleshoot problems faced by its users in real-time.

And, of course, Maersk’s new instant booking tool launched in November 2018 provides shippers with a booking confirmation almost instantly after the booking request is submitted. Many ocean carriers are designing and executing their own apps because low rates and great customer service are no longer the only pull for new clients – technology is becoming more and more attractive to prospective shippers.

The shipping industry is not the only side of global transportation that is jumping on the technology bandwagon – the air industry is in the process of introducing innovations of its own.

Nallian, a data-sharing company, collaborated with air freight carriers to implement an app that automatically assigns freight terminal dock door times to truckers so that handlers can have paperwork and loads ready for their arrival. The ability to have everything ready to go for truckers allows smoother transitions, faster pick-up and drop-off times, and greatly reduces the amount of congestion within airports.

The same company has also created load-consolidation apps to allow truckers and forwarders/NVOCCs to reduce traffic inside of and around Heathrow Airport. According to JOC.com, “it would maximize load consolidations on trucks before they enter the airport.” The consolidation app has not yet been released, but once it becomes available, it will also serve to lower emissions due to less hauls per day, per year.

These new technological advancements in the shipping industry are geared towards simplifying the supply chain process for all parties involved.

A more-efficient supply chain means more profit across the board for shippers, carriers, forwarders, and BCO’s alike. We just have to keep up with the times!