Is the shipping industry embracing the digital age?


( The shipping industry is facing a period of great change. From an increasing focus on environmental issues, to fast-changing technology, the challenge is to keep up with the changes whilst managing spending.

Reed Smith has conducted a survey in 2018 asking industry participants: How prepared are you for the digital age?

In light of the responses to that survey, as we start 2019, we reflect on the challenges that we face as an industry in the coming years. Meeting the IMO 2020 fuel emission requirements will clearly be a focus for many businesses over the next 12 months and beyond, as too will ongoing issues surrounding ballast water treatment.

Cyber-crime continues to be a major theme and a year on from the attacks on Maersk, it seems that companies are taking this seriously. This also links with the increased automation of processes and functions onboard, which is expected to be the most significant driver of efficiency in the next five years. An increase in automation potentially increases the likelihood of cybercriminals seizing control of vessels through malicious programs. Increasingly, clients are implementing prevention training and other initiatives to educate their employees and contractors on how to avoid cyber-attacks.

There have been a number of moves towards further consolidation in recent years – from the Ocean Network Express joint venture between NYK Line, Mitsui, OSK and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha to the merger between Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company.

One of the major challenges is the increasingly changeable macro-economic conditions. This includes flattening demand growth and the high volatility of financial results across the sector. There is also an increased trend in domestic protectionism with the growing number of sanctions and import tariffs and taxes. The next five years are likely to be a challenge for the industry, with significant expenditure needed to ensure compliance with new regulations while maintaining competitiveness.

To read more click on below image to download the survey report:

Source: Reed Smith

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