Shipping has been conservative for far too long. It is time for us to welcome change and emerge from the shadows. Technology unlocks potential, but the digital world and digital shipping must be embraced,

...he said.

He believes most shipping companies are risk averse and, as a result, are failing to benefit from the commercial and operational gains now possible through the integration of new technologies, both on ships and ashore.

Technology is already redefining the industry, he said, with technologies as IoT, Machine Learning and Cloud-based Big Data, which can yield efficiency and transparency for owners, ship suppliers and operators.

Shipboard and shoreside operations can be made more efficient and cost-effective by bringing in customized technology to cater to the specific needs of our industry. But digitalisation is a constantly changing landscape. To be effective and future-proofed, shipping companies need to understand the demands of the modern, digital world and the absolutely transformative nature of technology.

Critical for fully embracing technology is innovation in both products and processes, he explained. They are not mutually exclusive. You need one to enable the other.

Take Amazon, for example. They have changed the way the retail industry operates by introducing virtual showrooms, 3rd party supplier platforms, offering online ordering and fulfillment to any business, Data Cloud sourcing as a business model etc. However, none of that would have been possible unless Amazon developed the basic infrastructure of E-commerce and fulfillment to serve its retail business.

The shipping industry is moving in a similar way, he said, whereby it innovates products and services for digitalisation, while keeping the return on investment in mind for a sustainable business model.

As the products and services mature it will enable new ways of managing and operating ships.