Freight moving companies transporting goods by sea carry 90% of trade worldwide, and shipping remains a vital and efficient form of transportation. For this reason, the future of shipping has a huge impact on the future of a thriving global economy. What factors are driving the change?
The Panama Canal will enable 1,200-foot-long ships, twice as big as those currently accessible, to pass. This will largely increase shipping opportunities between Asia and the U.S. for goods, equipment and even global relocation services.
At a quarter-mile long and taller than an Olympic stadium, the Triple E vessel of Maersk is only one example of new “megaships” with vastly increased hauling capability, efficient technologies supporting containerization and automation, and a sustainable approach that allow freight moving companies to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% per container.
Sustainability will be an increased trend in shipping. Modifications will include wind power and better telemetry tracking. More communication between ships and control operations on shore will provide more efficient routes. Even simple changes in paint (biocide-free) can greatly improve the speed and efficiency of sea travel. From traditional cargo to industries like global relocation services, sustainability initiatives may earn back their investment through improved efficiencies.
Freight moving companies will increasingly deploy highly specialized ships, designed to carry very unique cargo. An example would be ships almost exclusively focused on shipping wind turbines.
Wartsila has created a year 2030 future shipping scenarios report that may at first sound like science fiction. Its projections are in fact grounded in present trends, and include increases in bilateral agreements, new trade routes largely focused on China’s trade interests, and the development of sophisticated new ports and logistics centers throughout the African and Asian continents. According to the report, there may be the potential need for armed support for shipping routes. Lastly, the report predicts an increasing focus on corporate entities and less on nation states in determining shipping routes.
While only a single industry, shipping is an elemental piece of numerous supply chains that ultimately impact business worldwide, making it an industry worth watching.
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