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Bridging the Gap: Digitising Shipping and Maritime for Improved Collaboration and Efficiency

todayFebruary 22, 2023

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Bridging the Gap: Digitising Shipping and Maritime for Improved Collaboration and Efficiency

The shipping and maritime industry is one of the most critical industries worldwide, responsible for moving around 90% of global trade. However, despite its importance, the industry has been slow to adopt new technologies, lagging behind other industries in terms of digital transformation. The good news is that in recent years, the industry has begun to take steps towards digitisation, and the results of a recent poll reveal that there is growing interest in this area. According to a report by the International Chamber of Shipping, there has been an increase in the use of digital technologies in the industry. 

In this blog post, we will explore the key findings of a poll we ran during our Shipping and Maritime online webinar series,  and what they might mean for the future of the shipping and maritime industry.

The first question in the poll asked participants who they would trust to manage their data for true collaboration. The responses revealed that UN organisations were the most popular choice, with 28% of the votes. Industry associations were the second most trusted entities, with 25% of the votes. According to the same report by the International Chamber of Shipping, industry associations are also working on establishing data standards and protocols to enable effective data exchange and collaboration.

The second question in the poll asked participants whether they think there is enough standardisation in shipping. The overwhelming response of “need more” at 82% indicates that there is a recognition that the lack of standardisation in the industry is a major barrier to progress. The lack of standardisation in the shipping and maritime industry can result in difficulties in interconnecting different systems and technologies, which can cause operational inefficiencies, such as delays, errors, and additional costs. For instance, if ports and carriers do not follow common standards, it could be challenging to integrate data from various sources and track shipments accurately, leading to cargo losses and disruptions in the supply chain. Therefore, establishing industry-wide standards and protocols can increase operational efficiency, reduce complexity, and enhance interoperability between different players in the industry.

The final question in the poll asked participants how they see technology transforming the industry in commodity trading. A staggering 82% of respondents chose ‘All of the above', indicating that they believe technology has the potential to transform the shipping and maritime industry in numerous ways. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, this potential is significant, with digital technologies projected to create a value of up to $370 billion (£305 billion) per year for the industry by 2030. The report notes that technology can streamline processes, improve transparency and traceability, and enhance efficiency and reliability, driving down costs and making the industry more competitive. The poll result reinforces the idea that technology can transform the industry in multiple ways, and that a concerted effort is needed to realise its potential.

The shipping and maritime industry has made significant progress in digitisation, with over 90% of companies investing in technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, the industry still needs to overcome the challenge of establishing data standards and protocols to enable effective data exchange and collaboration. There is no doubt that the potential for technology to transform the industry in commodity trading is significant, and the industry must work together to realise this potential. It is time for the industry to collaborate and establish data standards and protocols to drive progress and bring the industry into the digital age.

Written by: Commodities People


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