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Container Shipping & Trade

Container Shipping & Trade

Data and analytics to cause ‘fundamental shift’ in box ship sector

Fri 08 Jun 2018 by Rebecca Moore

Data and analytics to cause ‘fundamental shift’ in box ship sector

Digital, data, and analytics will have a large impact on the container ship market – while box ship industry leaders will look very different in 2043, a newly-published report from TT Club in conjunction with global management consulting firm McKinsey said.

Brave new world? – Container transport in 2043 summarises the thoughts and opinions of industry leaders on what the future holds for the container industry over the next 25 years.

The authors of the report interviewed over 30 industry leaders and experts from a wide cross section of the industry.

Following the research, TT Club and McKinsey, in Brave new world? have drawn five broad conclusions as to where the industry is going and have examined four specific potential future scenarios together with their implications. Two of these scenarios centre on digitalisation and two on trade development, or the lack of it.

What will change in the future or will the familiar boom and bust cycle continue? Brave new world? reports five broad conclusions:

  1. The physical characteristics of the industry are unlikely to change, as the container and the ships that carry them will still exist over the next 25 years.
  2. Trade flows will become more balanced across trade lanes as incomes converge between east Asia and developed economies, and the emerging economies
    in south Asia and Africa catch up.
  3. Automation will be broadly adopted across the value chain, especially on the landside in ports, terminals, rail and trucking, to unlock significant efficiencies.
  4. Digital, data, and analytics will cause a fundamental shift in the sources of value creation and customers will expect a high level of reliability, transparency and user-friendliness.
  5. Industry leaders in 2043 will look very different; some will consolidate, others may change their business model. Some will be ‘digital natives’, either start-ups or e-commerce players optimising the container transport leg of their supply chain.

TT Club chief executive officer Charles Fenton said “We believe the container transport industry will face challenges as technology changes the environment, but we are confident that an industry that has shown itself adept at change will rise to meet these challenges.”

McKinsey senior partner Martin Joerss said “More than 50 years after the introduction of the container, the container transport industry faces the transformative rise of digital, data, analytics and automation. There is a range of futures where digital fundamentally changes the industry’s economics – for the benefit of both customers and industry participants – but getting there will require vision and relentless execution.”

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