Published on May 17th, 2018 | by Guest0
The Transformation of The Shipping Industry
Waiting for a package you bought online has become a necessary part of today’s online shopping procedures. Sure, you can pay extra money to get it to you faster, but there’s no guarantee that it even gets to you in one piece. You also have to worry if anyone has stolen it off of your porch while it’s waiting for you to get off of work. While online shopping has its convenience, it also comes with its drawbacks. But these setbacks look like they may become a thing of the past.
The term “plus shipping and handling” is on the verge of looking vastly different over the next couple of years. The shipping industry is transforming from beginning to end — how you order your packages, how it is processed and tracked, and delivery methods.
With current advancements, companies like Amazon, eBay, and other e-commerce giants are currently experimenting with technologies that are making shipping processes much cheaper, easier, and safer.
Take a look at what technologies are transforming the shipping industry on individual and global scales.
(Photo Credit: Pixabay)
Drones aren’t just for the military or your personal use anymore; they are being acknowledged for their widespread handiness in multiple shipping sectors. On a personal level, Amazon is looking at drones to be implemented into their delivery services. That’s right, a drone could deliver the package you ordered right to your doorstep.
While the details are still being perfected, drones have the potential to get your package to you sooner. In fact, FreightPros compares drone delivery to standard truck delivery, saying, “According to projections from Amazon, drone delivery might be even faster. It’s entirely possible that consumers could order and receive their products in less time than it takes to get an inner-city pizza delivery.”
On freight liners, using drones for maintaining the safety of the ship and crew is possible. It is easier to get an encompassing view the ship and identify defects in the ship. Furthermore, drones can assist in the search and rescue of people and parcels gone overboard on the ship. The versatility of drone technology will be a valuable ally of the shipping industry.
Big Data, The Cloud, and Blockchain
Big data and its counterparts are revolutionizing multiple industries. Healthcare, banking, and marketing are reaping the benefits, and the shipping industry is looking to cash in on big data as well. Big data, when coupled with the cloud and blockchain can overhaul just about every aspect of shipping.
Shipping runs on a massive web of supply chain management, tracking systems, and other logistical operations. Big data and the cloud is very capable of keeping track of all of this information in real time. A thorough explanation of implementing blockchain in the shipping industry is provided by The Economic Times:
“Should they succeed, documentation that takes days will eventually be done in minutes, much of it without the need for human input. The cost of moving goods across continents could drop dramatically, adding fresh impetus to relocate manufacturing or source materials and goods from overseas.”
Having a unified, cohesive way to track packaging and parcels, documents, transactions, and supply chain inventory will save an astronomical amount of time. Being able to access all of this information in real-time on the cloud will transform the antiquated methods of the shipping industry today.
AI and Automation
As noted above, big data technology is paving the way for the interpretation of the shipping industry’s production of enormous amounts of data. The capability to handle this data is allowing for the possibility of the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in shipping operations. Most notable, self-navigating cargo ships use predictive algorithms such as machine learning to create a world of new possibilities, all while cutting costs, time, and manpower.
Imagine if cargo ships and shipping trucks no longer needed to be driven by a human being. In more than one instance, we have seen a catastrophe happen because of the long hours drivers are required to be on the road. AI and automation can improve the safety of shipping by taking the tired driver out of this situation. Furthermore, automation and AI can lower congestion and increase delivery time on the road and seas by calculating the best routes, predicting traffic patterns, all while saving on costs.
While drones will be used for smaller, more personal deliveries, AI and automation have the capacity to navigate bigger transportation vehicles. With both of these technologies, shipments as little as a pair of shoes to shipping your car across the ocean is entirely possible and affordable. The above integrations will also reconfigure businesses from small e-commerce shops to importing/exporting and international trading quotas. There will be no delivery or company too big or small for these new technologies to handle.
For a large percentage of businesses, shipping is a foundational aspect of the revenue they obtain. It would be in any company’s interest to embrace these technologies to elevate the operations of what is sometimes the only source of income. It’s not hard to understand that a company that can offer one hour shipping by drone will be chosen over one that takes 2 to 3 business days to deliver your package to you. Companies are anticipating to implement these technologies include Rolls Royce, who plans to have remote controlled cargo ships out on the seas by 2020, as well as Amazon Prime, who has been playing around with the idea of drone deliveries already.
Nearly every aspect of the shipping industry is being revamped by the technologies above. This transformation is much needed, as no significant innovations have been introduced to shipping operations, making the methods and systems redundant and outdated. Many of the technologies reshaping shipping are recognized because they have benefitted other industries tremendously, and shipping will be no different.