|Forgive me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. I just finished reading an opinion piece in Splash, Is Digitalisation in Shipping Disruption or Racketeering?, where the author tries to make the case that the movement towards digitalization in shipping is based on racketeering (defined as “offering a service to solve a problem that would not otherwise exist”). He cites “the need for a paradigm shift, is not yet coming from within the industry, but it is due to external hype. Rest assured, when the principals feel the need to change how things are done, they will do so…”.
REALLY????? With all due respect, digitization is all about creating efficiency and value for the shipowner! If digital tools can make your operations more efficient, you save money in time and energy costs. And we are not in a period where “a need for a paradigm shift” exists– it is already happening!!! In fact, shipping is one of the last markets to embrace this value-add opportunity!
The first online response to the article was equally disturbing when he states: “I do not believe that any of this [digitalization] will be some kind of disruptive game changer for the industry. Bigger threats to be dealt with are punitive regulations like BWT and IMO 2020.”
Whether it is due to regulatory change (“punitive”??? The word is “required” unless we want the ire of global society upon our heads), competitive pressure (those utilizing these new technologies will create more efficient, and less costly, operations), or societal demands (millennials and Gen X require digitalization), our industry has changed. There is forward momentum capturing the attention, and participation, of the major industry players who have vision and a determination to be leaders.
I suggest that companies get on board– or lose out to more nimble competitors. Remember what happened to the dodo bird when it didn’t adapt…