In their recently-published ISCD report, The Baltic Exchange and Xinhua cite what they believe to be the new trends in global shipping. These include, among others, a shift in new technologies with the emerging concept of intelligent ports, a greater concern for shipping’s environmental footprint with the implementation of green policies, an increased development of Asia-Pacific shipping through ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, as well as the market consolidation trend with alliances.
- A new paradigm of efficient decision-making with intelligent shipping
Intelligent shipping is not just technology application, it is a re-engineering of business models in exploiting resource endowment for value creation. The objective of intelligent ports is to realise smart collection and distribution systems through innovative business models, supported by information technology so as to promote efficient operation of logistical flow, information flow and capital flow in the trade ecosystem.
In future, intelligent ports will become the key driving force of the shipping industry to improve efficiency, reduce costs and enhance core competitiveness,
…the report reads.
- New development in transformation to green ecology
In line with Chinese Ministry of Transport’s “Action Plan for Promotion of Green Ports (2018- 2022)” released in April this year, European and American countries have also recognised the impacts of pollution from shipping ports, and have implemented policies to promote the use of low-sulphur fuels and cleaning technologies to reduce emissions. These indicate an intention of application of green policies throughout the process of port planning, construction and operation.
Green development and ecological protection will surely become the new trend in transformation and development of the international shipping industry
A new development paradigm in crossborder integration
As at the end of 2017, more than 70 Chinese enterprises have deployed new shipping platform models based on “Internet + Shipping” paradigm, which enables re-engineering of the traditional economic model of the shipping industry. Well-known Internet shipping platforms in the world include Youship from Denmark, INTTRA from the US, GT Nexus and Kn-freigtnet from Germany, as well as Shipserv from UK.
The development of big data and e-Commerce in shipping has promoted the trend of shifting the industrial chain to that of a cross-border integration.
- Accelerated development in Asia-Pacific Shipping
Increasing trading and rising economic strength of the Asia-Pacific region are the driving forces in shifting the international shipping centre eastward, with shipping resources further concentrated in Asia. Buoyed by the “Belt and Road” initiative, development opportunities abound in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Hainan Free Trade Zone and Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
The cluster of China’s shipping centres around Hong Kong and Shanghai achieved tremendous growth in the shipping industry through the offering of solid and high-quality port logistic services and enhanced level of modern shipping services. Such opportunities represent injection of new vitality into the development of the global shipping industry.
- A new paradigm of stiffer port competition due to shipping alliances and growing ship sizes
The alliance of shipping companies and increasingly larger ship sizes not only mean enhancement of hardware and consolidation of resources, but also mean higher bargaining power for additional demands, resulting in a new paradigm of stiffer competition among ports.
At present, major liner alliances account for more than 80% of total global shipping capacity; and more than 90% liner market share in Asia, Europe and North America. Alliance of shipping companies will enhance the alliance’s bargaining power. Competition among ports will become more intense due to larger size of businesses afforded by larger number of fleets with shipping alliances.
Growing sizes of ship will result in reduced number of berthing but increased loading and unloading capacity. This will exacerbate the gap between peak and low operation cycles, force the port to upgrade its infrastructures such as berthing, and loading/unloading facilities, and motivate the port to deploy more intelligent systems to consolidate various resources and ensure efficiency and productivity.