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Digital Maritime Week

Covid-19 crisis driving digitalisation acceptance in port solutions sector

The Covid-19 crisis has driven customer acceptance of digitalisation, and will result in a new normal going forward, according to top executives from port solution and equipment providers.

Speaking on a TOC webinar entitled ‘Showing a resilience and recovery through Covid-19’, part of the Informa Markets Digital Maritime Week, a change in perception was seen towards digitalisation, which had provided a lifeline in recent months.

Christian Koegl, ceo – cranes, Siemens, said they had been well prepared with digitalisation, however, acceptance had been an issue. “The interesting thing is we had a lot of people who were doubting how it was going, especially with remote commissioning and everyone said this doesn’t work. And suddenly it works, what a surprise.”

This acceptance is expected to go beyond the current situation with Covid-19. “Therefore this crisis will see a positive effect – it will see even more push towards digitalisation. Now we get the acceptance of digitalisation and I really see a shift in the perception of digitalisation,” Koegl said.

A similar pattern was seen by Mika Mahlberg, executive vice president of Konecranes. “This has crisis has accelerated the customer’s acceptance to be connected and this has been some kind of issue,” he said.

“I see this part accelerating we can remotely help the customers and commission equipment, we can troubleshoot.” Mahlberg added it was both good for the customer as well as the environment with less travel involved.

Antti Kaunonen, president - automation solutions for Kalmar, also reported a positive change in customer acceptance of digitalisation. “The customers were a little bit reluctant that you could the start-ups using remote support. Now suddenly the demand is there, the world has changed quite drastically and that is really the positive thing that has happened.”

Kaunonen also saw a positive in terms of expert staff being able to work remotely and spend less time travelling. “The specialists do not need to be in the plane crossing the timezones all the time, so it’s much more effective use of the specialists we have.”

Stefan Lampa, president - mobile solutions for Kalmar said that digitalisation had been a lifeline in the the customer side this is a good thing and let’s now figure out how to do this on a more broad and deep scale so this becomes the new normal.  So after Covid there is a new normal that is a lot more digital than pre-Covid world was,” he said.


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