As a longtime shipping company CEO, Brian Ladin knows that change is a constant in the global shipping industry. With commercial markets and consumer needs always in flux, shipping firms and professionals must always be on the lookout for innovations, developments, and trends that not only help maximize operational efficiency, but that will enable companies to keep up with those changes and, ultimately, empower competitiveness and profitability over the long term.
Here are five technological trends now sweeping across the field of global shipping. As Brian Ladin knows, these advances are likely to steer the industry and its progress for the foreseeable future.
1. Larger container ships will begin to dominate shipping lanes
Ship materials, construction, and technology continue to improve at an impressive clip, providing the framework for what promises to be an ever-increasing number of much-larger container ships filling global shipping lanes in the near future. With behemoths like the HMM Algeciras, HMM Oslo, Ever Ace, and many more boasting 23,000+ TEU capacity, Ladin knows we’re sure to see even larger container ships hit the water very soon.
2. Digital ship monitoring will soon be the norm
Digital or smart ship monitoring technology has become increasingly sophisticated over the last several years, making it easier than ever for on-shore fleet managers to monitor nearly all facets of ship operation. As the technology becomes more widespread and cost-effective, says Brian Ladin, more firms are sure to incorporate digital sensors and monitoring tech into day-to-day shipping management, utilizing such tech to monitor performance, detect issues and improve operational efficiency.
3. More fleets may turn to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for fuel
As Ladin knows, there has been an uptick of interest across the commercial shipping industry in terms of ways to reduce vessel CO2 emissions. One such method may be increased use of liquefied natural gas, or LFG, which many believe can help fleets meet reduced emissions targets and source a competitive alternative to diesel. While there is little doubt that conventional fuel will continue to be the industry go-to in the near future, LNG offers an appealing option likely to catch on among operations around the world.
4. Fleets will adopt eco-friendly shipping technologies at an increasing rate
Nearly every industry is seeking opportunities these days to lower environmental impact, and the shipping industry is no different. In fact, as pressure grows to reduce carbon footprint, many across the industry are exploring new technologies and methods for lowering emissions output and maximizing operational efficiency, including more efficient propeller designs, more streamlined hull designs, better navigation, better voyage planning, and more.
As Brian Ladin knows, some fleets are even exploring the potential of advanced wind and solar energy technology to reduce fuel consumption and achieve greener operational capacity. While renewable technologies may not yet be ready to replace current oil fuels, many in the shipping industry understand the utility of solar panels and on-ship wind power generation to supplement existing fuel sources and reduce carbon footprint.
Technological trends continue to shape shipping’s global trajectory
Digital, architectural and environmental technologies continue to impact the global shipping industry, affecting how fleets and companies transport goods and ensure optimal supply chain efficiency. As Brian Ladin knows, such trends promise not only to enhance efficiency and improve output, but also steer the industry toward a cleaner, greener future for years to come.