Non-shipping disruptors suggest players need to pick up pace of change

New ways of looking at already new ideas was the thrust of the appropriately named Global Perspectives: The Future of Shipping, a new event at Singapore Maritime Week 2018 where a panel sought to discuss the transformation taking place in the maritime industry and possible disruption of current business models by players outside the industry.

While it was unanimously acknowledged that change would come to the industry, the pace of change was debated. Sagely president of Clarkson Research Martin Stopford who has seen more than his fair share of the history of shipping, pointed out that the nature of the shipping business is very different from that of Grab for example because it is relatively fixed and has until recently had little access to outside communications while at sea. “It’s a steep learning curve,” he suggested.

Others from so-called disruptive industries that had been invited to the panel were more discrete. Group chief crossborder officer from Lazada Group James Chang while pointing to how the disruptive online retailer has adopted technology much quicker with innovations such as predictive technology in its logistics chains for example, suggested that changes in terms of the corporate culture in shipping may be harder to effect.

Singapore country head for Grab Lim Kell Jay noted that the asset-light taxi substitute company started on a digital platform from the outset and in a subtle reference to shipping, suggested it as such, had “no baggage”.

Finally Tal Drory, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert from IBM reiterated that “AI is the next IT, (and) will bring a major breakthrough and influence each industry.”

Continuing the debate on the use of AI, different opinions were raised on how much data is actually needed to make good decisions. Drawing an example from the world of Formula 1 racing, Stopford suggested that it was not the sheer amount of raw data that was important but looking for specific data that was most relevant to operations.

Read all the news from Singapore Maritime Week on our dedicated Live From Singapore Maritime Week 2018 page

Posted 23 April 2018

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade (UBM (UK) Ltd). Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade.

Vincent Wee

Asia Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

Read more stories like this...

Sign up to the Seatrade Maritime Newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe Now >

ShipTech Storybox

Seatrade ShipTech Middle East

23 – 24 September 2019 | Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

The knowledge hub of technological advancements for the shipping sector. Learn, discover and experience new technologies and optimise operational efficiencies.

View 2019 programme >