One thing Venturn has been focussing on in 2018 and will continue to do so is how to drive innovation. One aspect of being an innovator is keeping up with the current trends and taking the lead in these. Therefore it is important to know what the industry has been up to this past year. We want to get you up to date with a few interesting trends:
Supply chain visibility
From shipbuilding to cargo routes, the maritime sector continues to evolve in response to technological trends. Understanding these trends is critical to improving the performance of the industry’s capital investment as well as operational efficiency, and provides the backdrop for successful long-term business strategy.
One thing many companies struggle with is how to bring more visibility into their supply chain. Due to globalization and e-commerce, the complexity and unpredictability of the supply chain has increased. This leads to major challenges, especially now that the restlessness in international trade is increasing due to the new trade barriers of, for example, the United States and China. Creating more visibility in your supply chain can offer a solution and prevents one misstep from disrupting the entire chain.
In order to get the most out of your supply chain, it needs to be organized and managed properly, the resources need to be connected, the people need to communicate well and visibility needs to be created. Creating visibility for your clients or end-users of your product or service will at the same time add to the best possible customer experience you can offer and it will make your company smarter and more competitive.
Perhaps it is because of its novelty and excitement, but the possibility of autonomous ships has caught our attention and it is getting more and more attention around the world. At the end of 2018, Rolls-Royce and Finferries, a Finnish ferry operator, demonstrated their first autonomous ship. Even before that, an autonomous, green energy fuelled ship (Yara Birkeland) was announced in Norway.
For this trend to stay afloat, some significant issues regarding legislation, safety and cyber security need to be resolved first. Because what would happen if an autonomous ships collides with another ship? Can these ships be hacked? And even the costs of building such an autonomous ship is a threshold that needs to be crossed first. The Wall Street Journal states that the ship will cost 25 million dollar to build, three times as much as a conventional container ship of its size. However, operational costs could be cut by 90% because no crew or fuel is needed.
The International Maritime Organization, which regulates maritime travel, does not expect legislation governing crewless ships to be in place before 2020. If we get to the point where unmanned ships will be a common thing, now is the time to incorporate this trend in your business strategy!
Drones are not something new either, but the implementation of drones in the logistics and maritime sector is taking off as well. Besides delivery drones, there are drones equipped in warehouses. Sensor-equipped drones fly through the aisles of distributions centres and alert employees to products that are close to being out of stock or are not in their assigned slot.
But there is more: according to Allianz Global’s Safety and Shipping Review 2018 unmanned aircraft systems are finding a growing number of applications in the maritime and logistics industry and can potentially be used to assess safety and risk management as well.
Drones are increasingly used by class societies and marine surveyors to assess vessel damage and environmental pollution, monitor cargo loading and pirate activity along coastlines, and to carry out cargo tank inspections. Drones will also have an increasing role in spotting and avoiding hazards at sea. This allows for faster, more informed decision making on board, reducing the impact of any incident at sea.
Has your company employed any of these trends yet?