Digital advancements continue to impact how we live, behave and think, urging businesses to change how they operate, and adapt to a fast-changing world. Shipping2030, a shipping industry event taking place in Singapore later this month, aims to bring innovation leaders and maritime professionals together from around the world to answer the big questions behind the industry’s evolving landscape.
Shipping2030 Portfolio Manager Emily Impey took time out from her busy schedule to answer a few questions about the event and what participants, including MarineTraffic, can expect in Singapore.
What are the central themes of the Shipping2030 event?
One of the main central themes for Shipping2030 is connectivity. From automation and IoT, to sensors and tracking, to Big Data & analytics, connectivity underpins these disruptive technologies and is the enabler for shipping’s digital future. Recent developments in maritime satellite technology mean that an enterprise grade service is now within reach and budget, helping provide the gateway to digital operation.
Why have you chosen Singapore as the venue?
Singapore is one of the leading international maritime hubs, a key terminal across many shipping sectors including container vessels, bulk, tanker, offshore support, and cruise. Ports and shipping are also intrinsically linked with the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation developments, with transport identified as a key domain where digital technologies can create significant impacts for society. So Singapore seemed a logical choice for our launch event!
What is Industry 4.0 and what does it mean for shipping?
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution, the confluence of cyber physical systems that are reshaping the industrial sector. The Shipping industry is not immune, with global economic shifts, disruptive technologies, environmental pressures, and new generational mindsets challenging the value proposition of conventional shipping. Digital innovation offers huge opportunities to shipping, from internal processes such as HR, procurement and finance, to asset optimisation and utilisation, product development, maintenance and improved customer service. At a time when most shipping sectors are struggling to turn a profit and meet customer demands, businesses must optimise the benefits of the digital age, change how they operate, and adapt to a fast-changing world…or get left behind.
The event aims to connect people, technology and ideas to answer the big questions on shipping’s digital future. What do you think are the key challenges the shipping industry is facing in the immediate and long term future?
While some organisations and individuals are pioneering disruption, one of the most immediate hurdles will be changing the traditional (or even stone age) mindsets of the shipping industry towards technology. As new digital technologies and innovations move horizontally across organisations and traditional departmental silos breakdown, a new approach to doing business is needed. Successful digital transformation must be driven from a strong organisation vision and plan, and real direction from the top.
A large part of the event is focusing on Big Data. Many analysts claim shipping has been slow to embrace big data and the benefits it offers the industry. Why do you think this is, and what role do you think Shipping 2030 and events like it can play in influencing the industry about the advantages big data offers?
This is linked to the two themes already mentioned – connectivity, and mindsets. Challenges with vessel connectivity have to date created a divide between data the shipping industry can collect, and the analytics tools used to generate strategic insight. However despite connectivity improvements and the benefits of Big Data having been proven in multiple industries, Shipping’s conservative nature makes it reluctant to embrace these new opportunities. In an already economically challenging time for shipping sectors, justifying investment in a digital strategy can seem increasingly difficult. But the real question that needs to be answered is not about cost, but about the value that can be delivered.
Data analytics provides opportunities for improvement in quality control, sustainable practices, supply chain traceability, efficiency and more. Shipping2030 Asia provides a wholistic approach to understanding these benefits. Bringing together visionaries and innovators from both inside and outside shipping, the event will help demonstrate how Big Data & analytics can be used to improve strategic knowledge and inform decision-making, provide a thorough understanding of the cross business benefits, and clearly demonstrate the ROI for digital transformation.
As the competitive landscape changes rapidly, the industry must come together and collaborate to accelerate innovation, improve processes, create value, and survive in the digital era.