|Our industry is going through a period of disruption bordering on turmoil. With the regulatory tsunami, accelerated technological development, automation, satcomms, and the demands of Millennials and Generation Z the shipping industry is encountering change in an unprecedented fashion.
Some companies are embracing this phase, seeing it as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the herd. Yet some people continue to embrace the rhetoric of “The shipping industry is a slow mover” or “The shipping industry doesn’t change”, or that old maritime reference “It’s like turning the Titanic around.”
But change is inevitable, and we MUST adapt or it will be forced upon us. I ask you— would you rather manage your change or have the inevitable done TO you?
The signs are all around us. We are already seeing the likes of Amazon and Alibaba entering the maritime logistics arena. As I said in a recent interview, they are the premier logistics experts who will use our services as long as we meet their expectations for efficiency and cost effectiveness. If we don’t, however, they will take it on, throwing massive resources into crafting our marine transportation system to meet the demands of the present and future, not the past.
The other demand for change will come from Millennials and Generation Z , who will only enter our world on their terms. That means connectivity, digitalization and flexibility. Despite the jokes, they are not afraid of hard work, but they do get frustrated by not having the latest and most efficient tools.
So why don’t we pivot away from the tired rhetoric and focus on how we can take ownership of the changes taking place?