Major disruption across the shipping and ports industry is not particularly expected. But as a sector particularly prone to macros shifts it’s easy for subtle shifts in the market to seem less significant than they actually are. And there is, perhaps surprisingly, room for innovation within this sector – innovation that is needed to counter a reduction in demands and falling margins.
That innovation centres on better use of data. As a cargo company, or a port operator, you will know yourself that you have access to a great deal of data on routes, fuel and distances amongst others. If you don’t have the right systems for aggregating and analysing this data it’s likely you are not able to use it to make more profitable business decisions.
There’s also the question of whether the sea is actually becoming internet enabled? To some degree we are seeing ships introduce the Internet of Things, or IoT, technology into new engines. This technology enables cargo operators to better adjust fuel levels, understand their most profitable routes, and know of impending engine problems. What it does, however, bring about is cyber security concerns – can your cargo routes be intercepted, is it possible for criminals to find out what you have on board, and could your data be changed to take you unknowingly off course?
Then, as with all industries, there’s also the question of expansion into emerging market – how will that work logistically and what are the tax implications, the regulation requirements and the financing structures you need to make that move a success. Is consolidation something you are considering, or perhaps integration with a logistics organisation?
Whichever challenge you face, our global network of over 1,000 transport and logistics specialists, are already helping clients to manage these business issues. Please do contact us directly for more information.