Companies involved in ocean freight will need to embrace emerging technologies such as big data analytics, blockchain, and automated operations in order to stay afloat, says ABI Research.
Analysts from the technology advisory firm ABI Research predict that digital technologies will radically transform the maritime industry over the next five years. In the 32-page report, The Digital Transformation of Maritime Freight,ABI researchers Susan Beardslee and Dominque Bonte, argue that there are huge opportunities for digital solutions to improve efficiency, visibility, environmental health, and security in the ocean shipping industry.
This is good news because if any industry is ripe for innovation and transformation, it is maritime shipping. Transport times are long. According to the report, it typically takes about a month for maritime cargo to get from China to the Eastern United States, Northern Europe, Eastern Africa, and South America. Furthermore, delivery dates are variable.
Five to ten days can be added to schedules due to loading and unloading at the origin and destination ports. And it’s not just physical movements that are inefficient. The report estimates that, in 2017, the global container shipping industry processed nearly 1.26 billion freight invoices. And yet, payment methods are currently “slow and antiquated,” according to Beardslee and Bonte, as the industry still primarily relies on bank transfers and checks.
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