One of the major trends in the maritime transport sector,in addition to the greening of its activities, is digitization. Although carriers’ activities have been slowed by the ongoing Covid crisis, the major players in the sector have made the decision to cut capacity in order to increase freight rates. The companies have expressed the hope that this decision will help them deliver substantial profits in 2020. They also believe that these profits will allow the sector to continue the digitalization process next year.
The major issues facing the maritime transport sector in the digitization process include such subjects as the optimization of consumption, autonomous vessels and navigation assistance. These different technologies are all currently being tested on large commercial vessels and should help reduce harmful emissions and operating costs at sea.
All the major companies in the sector are seeking to provide more comprehensive offers to their customers, with more companies increasingly delivering tailor-made offers. The sector is aware that the digitalization process must avoid creating a fragmented maritime logistics chain with an excess of data entry by multiple agents which tends to lead to a greater number of potential errors.
On the operational side of things, the PCS (Port Community Systems) also offer a one-stop-shop which aggregates information in real time from the various players in the logistics chain (freight operators, customs, road carriers, etc.).
According to Jérôme Ricqlès, the digital process can also provide the maritime sector with the possibility of applying a Booking.com type management system. This style of system incorporates the process of trying to integrate the notion of “dynamic pricing” with the pricing depending on how full the vessels are.
Soget, for example, will offer its customers the green version of S) ONE, which is a tool that will allow their customers to assess their harmful emissions while also providing companies with the possibility of offering emission credits or vouchers to their customers.
The maritime transport sector also sounded a cautionary note for the start of 2021 due to the unforeseen circumstances of the Covid crisis and, perhaps more importantly in the long term, as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union which is set to cause disruption for all transport sectors in the new year.