Digitalisation will eventually become a norm in the maritime business world
New technologies are dominating the ways we do businesses. Though the idea has been heavily advocated since 2019, many enterprises remained hesitant in riding with the disruption. That comes with a series of consequences, including being weeded out from the industry. Incidentally, the pandemic is just an accessory to this disruption, not the cause as many would assume.
What it means for maritime
In maritime, refusing digitalisation is extremely inefficient and causes substantial interruption. Hence, many enterprises launched their digital arms to enhance their global footprints and service standards. From shipbroking to chandelling, digitalisation is the only gateway to remain in business.
In the aspect of vessels sales and purchase, relying on simple old fashioned network can be a shipbroker’s Achilles heel today. The pandemic’s devastation cannot stress enough the severe need to adopt alternative processes to keep the business going. A mere phone call is no longer the way to find a buyer or vessel. It is in fact deemed as an outdated infrastructure. Instead, joining an online portal and tapping onto its network offers far more reach and flexibility in comparison to being confined within a limited network.
The same principle can be said for chartering. Those on the other side such as ships and cargo owners, using technology for better clientele reach can enhance engagement and even satisfaction. This is especially apt for a grim commercial environment, where business is scarce and speed is a vital component to ensure revenue. In the broker’s domain, access to accurate information is a must. Outdated systems and solutions will only impact service standards, and operational efficiencies.
Digital maritime bandwagon
Singapore’s maritime industry contributes 7 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, and employs 170,000 people across 5,000 establishments. Joining a digital platform can be a rewarding experience for shipbrokers and even any maritime enterprise. It translates to enjoying reduced costs and enhanced status as an innovative solutions provider.
At the recent “Future of Shipping Conference”, Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organisation, said in his address: “We all have a part to play in addressing challenges and pushing blue sky thinking to develop and implement solutions. To keep pace with the demands of the global economy and the expectations for sustainable growth, the maritime world needs to be in the forefront of transformational change.” Hence, digital transformation is not a matter of novelty, but a much needed way to evolve with the times.