Have you ever wondered if the tea you are drinking has traveled a long way to come? Even the chair and table you are sitting over travels thousands of miles to reach you. The shipping industry is a blessing to the global trade market. It transports more than 90% of goods every year, making everyday life easier. 

With the advancement of technology and inflation, it is time to line up the future trends in the shipping industry. 

What are those shipping industry trends that we will encounter in the future? 

Digital transformation of the shipping industry

We have been witnessing significant maritime loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, accelerating the digital transformation of the shipping industry. Digitalization helps increase the efficiency of global trade and reduces the dependency on workforce resources. 

Many businesses are using digital services to refine their operations and make even better decisions. They are entangling several factors that are affecting global trade. Future possibilities include fully automated port terminals, autonomous ships, freight benchmarking services, recommendations for a floating warehouse, and cargo delivery by drones.

Digital transformation is relentless in the coming years, and companies not moving toward digitalization will be left out of the market. Automation will be the next superpower that companies will ponder in which machines are less likely to make human errors saving a lot on the extra resources. They assist in the streamlining of existing operations, the creation of new business prospects, and the transformation of supply chains and trade geographies. 

Technological advancements have also pushed customers online for efficient and budget-friendly purchases. On-board sensors, port-call optimization, advanced analytics, communications technology, big data, and autonomous ships and vehicles are among the technological advancements that companies can incorporate.

Using real-time resonance testing of each container as it is being handled and machine learning software to interpret the raw information, ConexBird has created and patented a method to assess the physical state of shipping containers as they are raised by container cranes.

Finally, it is critical to recognize that digitalizing the maritime logistics chain is not without danger. Cyberattacks in the naval industry climbed 400% between February and May 2021, a trend that is likely to continue.

Introduction of Megaships

The shipping container vessels are responsible for a successful trade journey; however, finding a spot in the ships during the jam-packed seasons is challenging. What other alternative can be approached to rectify this problem?

Megaships, as the name suggests, mega-ships are the solution to carry more than the usual level of shipping containers easily. Over the last decade, megaships have risen to dominate container shipping at an incredible rate. Megaships can accommodate more containers and save multiple transportation times and money. They are the quickest yet costly solution to bottleneck maritime container shipping problems. A mega-ship has a capacity of around 20,000 TEUs or more. They shoot up to 400 metres straight into the sky, which is more than the Empire State Building (approx 380m). 

Larger ships can transport more goods in a single trip. This is in addition to cheaper international container costs due to more fuel-efficient (though relatively slower) sailings. On the other hand, they necessitate infrastructure and equipment upgrades, as well as more prominent peaks in container traffic in ports, all of which have far-reaching consequences.

A shipping alliance, also known as an ocean alliance, is a sort of cooperative arrangement among ocean carriers that serves as a strategic alliance to cover multiple trade routes through the global collaboration of various members.

Shipping alliances benefit everyone, from the large carriers who initiate the alliances to the smaller shippers who profit from the benefits alliances provide. They are critical when it comes to negotiating various trade channels on behalf of shippers all over the world.

Going green

For any maritime transportation, the one thing that all ships require is fuel. Half of the collected cost accounts for the fuel used in our shipping vessels. Therefore, deciding which energy we employ in the upcoming years is paramount. 

States, as well as international trade and maritime organisations, are becoming increasingly mindful of the need for sailing to reduce emissions and have set stringent emission reduction targets. Major shipping container companies have progressed further and set decarbonisation objectives that are much higher than the regulations require.

The shipping industry has been relying upon heavy fuel oil (HFO) since the 1960s because it is very cheap and readily available. However, it is filthy and pollutes the water bodies heavily. 

Recently we experienced a reduced carbon dioxide emission through the fuels that the shipping industry has been using. The main culprits are sulphur and particulate, which account for more than 15% and 11% of emissions, respectively. As a result, we are not moving towards greener shipping practices. 

Companies are slowly introduced to LNG and fuel cells which will reduce the pollution level to a significant extent. These alternative fuels, along with solar and wind energy, will bring about a revolution and power the shipping industry.

Need for blockchain induction

When information is misinterpreted, it leads to significant business loss. During the pandemic, shipping industries have witnessed many problems, but one among them is the improper management of cargo information. Lack of proper management has led to higher volumes of cancelled orders, costly cargo losses, and unanticipated cargo movements. 

The traditional method of transferring cargo-related information lacks real-time information, making the process miserable. This is where blockchain comes into the picture. Blockchain is a decentralised, open digital ledger that records all asset transfers and flows in actual time. It can track and correct an issue promptly. It eliminates the need for the physical or hardcopy of paperwork to be delivered during a trade. 

The shipping industry experiences significant problems related to fraud and shipment delays due to the traditional paperwork practices. Typical paperwork comprises types, the destination of the goods carried and the amount details, etc. It also has the contract details, which are often delivered via mail. This physical document takes around 40 -50 days to reach the other end. During this time, the ships start their maritime movement and arrive at the port ahead of the documents. Now, these ships are prone to travel back to their ports if the papers are not accepted or for any other valid reason, which can be costly for the companies. 

Another setback is the fraud that can easily alter the information in the hard copies. Fraud can be of any type, from changing the amount to developing fake logos, which leads to heavy business loss at both ends. 

For all the hard copy information-related problems, there is just one real-time solution: blockchain. It speeds up the shipping approval process and reduces the risk of fraud. 

Blockchain is the digital and secure way to transfer documents about cargo shipping, speeding up the maritime business. 

The shipping industry is advancing in every way possible. There are several innovations that the future holds for the shipping industry. From digitalization to sustainable cargo shipment, it is important to line your business towards the growing technology. BOXXPORT is one such platform that holds the future with growing technologies. Log on to www.boxxport.com for more information.