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Thought Leadership

Thought leaders provide insight into what’s on the horizon

The Future of Shipping

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. At the heart of Industry 4.0 is the push toward increased automation and data exchange in the manufacturing sector. Cloud computing, value-added manufacturing, 3D printing, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things are all disrupting traditional industry business models—including shipping. Marine Log met with thought leaders to get their take on how Industy 4.0 will transform the shipping industry. 28 Marine Log // May 2017

FRANK COLES Chief Executive Officer, Transas I like to distinguish shipping and maritime as two separate things. Shipping is the carriage of goods. Maritime is the ships and the ship operations. I see the shipping side of the industry—the cargo carriers and the logistics—driving change. It is happening with Maersk, Amazon, and with all the logistics carriers that are trying to make their supply chains more efficient. They have done it ashore with trucks and planes and now maritime is the last piece of the puzzle that needs to become more efficient. That’s why Amazon and Alibaba, for example, are signing deals with Maersk that will make the supply chain of containers more efficient. Also BHP has put up a ship portal so that shipowners can bid directly to carry the cargoes—that precludes the freight forwarder. So on one end I see the actual cargo owners demanding more of the waterside of transportation. The role that Transas will play will be providing a platform for effective, safe, efficient maritime operations. Transas needs to build a software platform that everyone else can run on. We can provide services that the shipowner might want to use or the maritime industry might want to use to make

their decisions. A simulator that is used for training, but also decision support. Like an ECDIS that is used for navigation operations, but the data is also used ashore to work on fleet operations. Transas’ role will be to help in business decisions based on software solutions. Shipping and the maritime industry were the last pieces that needed addressing in the e-commerce chain. The supply chain of retailers and the supply chain of the world is a $2.1 trillion business. Maritime is not the biggest part of it. The biggest part of it happens on the shore. The Amazons of the world focus on the last mile to get to the consumer. So we are just the last piece that needs to be addressed. Because of that there hasn’t been the drive to require it to change. We’ve talked about the e-commerce side, but there is also the climate change and shipbuilding cycle, and the general shipping side. Climatic change and the regulators are going to play a huge role in shaping shipping. It is another stream of change if you will. The regulators are going to force the shipowners to make changes that are going to force them to be more efficient. The whole area of sulfur regulation (IMO’s Global 0.5% sulfur cap) starting in 2020 is going to make a

Marine Log May 2017  
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