At this year’s Global Liner Shipping & Shipping2030 Asia, we gathered some of the most prominent thought leaders, and asked them to share their views on the hottest topics in shipping and maritime.
In this interview, Maria Lambrou, Associate Professor of Digital Business at the University of the Aegean, reviews the shipping industry’s transformation.
Watch the interview or read the transcript below.
Lili Nguyen: How is digitalisation challenging businesses and maritime leadership?
Maria Lambrou: We are experiencing the 2nd wave of digitalisation in the shipping industry. We have been implementing and using digital technologies for the past few decades. But now we have a recent wave of technologies like IoT analytics, smart shipping, new AI techniques with a number of new solutions. Already, it is the big established incumbents who are leading the way in these transformations. We have a number of followers trying to find their base and their strategies in this landscape.
We are already witnessing and experiencing this transformational process in a multifaceted manner with many different options for companies to address their needs, strategies, and possibilities.
LN: Are smaller or larger companies faster at digitising?
ML: It’s not that simple. We see today that big incumbent leading shipping companies are setting the way forward and setting a model for the typology of applications such as smart cargo management systems, IoT for monitoring ship operations, and many of them are participating in autonomous ship projects.
This is one pattern of operations, but we have many others. We have sustaining innovators within big and small shipping companies, but we also have many start-ups in the industry, so it’s not that simple. It’s about the strategic orientations of the companies, whether they are insiders or outsiders.
LN: Who are the new players that shipping needs to bring into the industry?
ML: The mainstream narrative and understanding that we have is that we work in ecosystems, so we have a number of different players operating in this transformational process. The leading or non-leading incumbents need outsiders with bright new ideas, combining new technical and market knowledge. We need technology providers in this domain from a number of broad areas.