shipping industry

The shipping industry never sleeps. It runs 365 days a year, 24/7, transporting goods worldwide that account for about 90% of the total global trade volume. As the engine driving world commerce, it is supported by a vast web of interrelated industries, comprising hundreds of companies around the globe with an annual turnover of almost 5 trillion dollars. There have been enormous technological innovations in the shipping industry.

This enormous market offers an incredibly diverse range of opportunities for technological advancements. However, this also means that in the industry it is very difficult to predict which technologies will take off in popularity and when.

Today, we are highlighting some areas and ways in which the shipping industry has seen notable innovations. Keep reading if you want to know about them. We hope you enjoy it!

Below is a list of innovations that have helped shape the shipping industry. We have included only 15 entries, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

1) GPS location tracking of cargo

This is one of the most important developments in industry of sea freight in Dubai. Cargo theft is a serious problem, especially for high-value goods such as electronics and pharmaceuticals. By identifying the location of these goods at all times, owners can rest assured that their assets are secure.

2) Electronic logging devices (ELD)

These help truck drivers keep track of their hours and ensure they do not drive over the legal limit. ELDs are linked to a vehicle engine built with software that monitors speed and other parameters, sending an alert to fleet managers when illegal behavior is detected.

3) Blockchain technology in logistics management

Blockchain makes it easy to create networks where all parties involved can keep track of information in a secure, decentralized manner. It has been used to create digital log bases that each party involved in the process has access to, allowing accurate and real-time updates of cargo location and status throughout its journey.

4) Blockchain smart contracts for logistics

These are blockchain documents that act as “if/then” statements, determining whether certain conditions have been met before executing the terms of the contract. Simply put, smart contracts help to set standards and expectations to ease disputes.

5) Autonomous driving technology for heavy vehicles

Self-driving cars are already a thing, but autonomous trucks will probably be here sooner than you think! With developers focusing on safety and efficiency, this technology will be capable of sensing its environment, making complex decisions all on its own, and working with other vehicles in the vicinity without input from the driver.

6) Autonomous ships

The first fully autonomous vessels are already playing in our seas today. The Maritime RobotX Challenge, a joint venture between the US Office of Naval Research and the DSTG X Prize Foundation, is looking to find these vessels through a series of robot wars. The goal of the competition is to design an unmanned seacraft that is capable of performing missions typically carried out by manned ships, such as anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue missions, etc.

7) Cyber security for supply chains

The shipping industry is a prime target for cybercrime. Cargo theft and data piracy are only some of the threats that pose a serious threat to businesses and customers who rely on information about their shipments reaching them intact and as quickly as possible.

8) Big Data in logistics management

Big Data consists of large, complex datasets that are difficult to process with traditional software. Many organizations struggle with turning this data into useful insight, however, the successful ones find ways to do so. By analyzing big datasets and extracting meaning from them, managers can learn about their customers’ preferences and discover new sales opportunities across various channels.

9) Augmented reality (AR) in logistics

AR has started finding its way into all sorts of business sectors. It is particularly useful in the field of logistics because it allows workers to view information about consignments all at once through their mobile devices’ screens (or AR headsets), without having to search for the same data using multiple channels. This helps them to easily pinpoint any issues or delays and respond to them promptly.

10) 3D printing of spare parts for shipping machinery

3D printers can make almost anything these days, including spare parts for machines used in the process of transporting goods. 3D-printed components are often lighter than their metal counterparts, helping shipping companies save fuel costs on transport. They also offer a level of customization impossible with other materials.

11) Blockchain-based sharing economy for logistics services

Blockchain technology can help facilitate a shared economy in which service providers offer their services directly to customers, cutting out the middleman. A good example of this is our partner company ShipChain, a blockchain solution designed specifically to address the needs of logistics companies. ShipChain’s platform enables transportation companies to connect directly with customers, track their shipments in real-time and monitor their compliance with local laws for trading internationally.

12) Artificial intelligence (AI) in logistics management

AI is already being used to monitor the condition of ships, gather data about traffic patterns, and suggest suitable routes based on that information. It can also learn about the preferences of shoppers and then use that information to offer customized services. One such example is the AI system that Uber has developed for its fleet of self-driving vehicles.

14) Smart warehouses for efficient storage and retrieval of goods

Logistics companies can improve their inventory management processes by implementing smart warehouses equipped with technologies such as RFID sensors, IoT devices, mobile robots, and autonomous vehicles (like drones). These technologies work together to gather information about incoming shipments, monitor the status of outgoing shipments, and streamline the company’s workflow.

15) Data analytics for fraud detection in shipping insurance

By analyzing historical data about trends in fraud cases, insurers can more easily spot suspicious claims before they are paid out. For example, if a policyholder has made multiple insurance claims within a short period, the insurer can make a more informed decision about whether to approve the claim.

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