Sunday, April 9, 2017

DIGITIZATION OF SHIPPING

Bigger issue is the digitization of logistics and what it means to both middlemen and providers.

The digitisation of shipping will underpin the transformation of Global Trade itself

A generation ago a trip to Australia for say someone in the UK would have been rare and a lifetime event for the few that made the trip. Today with air travel down 50% compared to the 1970’s you can make a return trip for the equivalent of less than the average weekly wage.
The world has become a much smaller place with us being the first real generation to benefit . Not to mention the internet has shrunk it again by connecting almost the entire world. We can now holiday anywhere on our planet and travel across the globe for business meetings by browsing everything we need to know online and then booking with the click of a button.
Meanwhile the population of the world is exploding with the current number of 7.5B expected to balloon to as high as 17B at the turn of the next century
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, besides how easy global travel has become ,computers have changed everything. As the developing world becomes more connected this trend will accelerate and it will mean global trade will be more important and needs to be easier
In my last blog I spoke about why some giant tech companies are focusing in on shipping and will become the biggest players in the next decade. For their business to continue growing they should control what underpins trade and that is shipping . 95% of manufactured goods or trillions of dollars in trade start their life in the shipping container ,but everyday millions of small and medium import and export companies around the world need to ring or email shipping agents to check prices because they are not yet online. In fact none of the top twenty freight forwarders in the world offer container pricing online today ! ,you must communicate with them the same way you did in 1999 and it continues offline with bookings and documentation .
The move online is an obvious one and is both well underway and irreversible now . But if we take a peak around the corner with the latest technology trends today (AI , AV ,AV and VR) we see how they will then integrate into the future world of global trade. It will be an even more exciting time with endless possibilities.
One example would be imagine your a Furniture company and at your desk in New York , your thinking about adding a new type of garden table for your upcoming summer range ,you click your PC to view pretty much every option and find a great supplier in India but decide to put on your AR/VR Headset so you can view the table as if it was in front of you. Then you ask your AI assistant to order 200 of them . Two weeks later you ask the AI how the shipment is coming along and after being given the location of the goods you ask to be reminded the day before it arrives at NYC Port.
Shipping has by then faded into the background like it should , it becomes frictionless and enables more trade in our hyper connected ever shrinking world.