Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies Dismiss

Digitisation paramount in propelling shipping forward in 2019, says Maersk South Asia MD

Image courtesy of Maersk Image courtesy of Maersk

Digitisation has been paramount in propelling the logistics and shipping industry forward in 2019, and will continue to do so in 2020, says managing director of Maersk South Asia, Steve Felder. Here, Mr Felder outlines the company’s progress throughout 2019 and its plans for 2020.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} “While the global container demand was lower in 2019 due to weaker growth in the global economy, India witnessed a broad-based slowdown in its import export trade as well after a growth of several years. This is aligned closely with the weaker domestic demand, tight liquidity and working capital as well as a reflection of the overall cyclical weakening of the economic environment in all the main global economies. The escalating trade restrictions led to reduced bilateral trade between the United States of America and China, the two major manufacturing economies, resulting in shifts in the trade structures, with some sourcing moving away from China to South East Asian countries.

The government’s ambitious target of making India a USD 5 trillion economy requires focused approach in implementing reforms and measures in the logistics sector. This may be feasible provided infrastructure and technological investments can be progressed across the country, further supported by robust policy reforms towards strengthening connectivity, especially towards the hinterlands and coasts. With cargo successfully being transported via Inland waterways 1 this year, we hope to see even more increase in multimodal transport routes, aided by the efforts of Sagarmala project.

Digitisation has been paramount in propelling the logistics & shipping industry forward. We see great opportunity in investment in technology start-ups focused on developing solutions backed by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain and similar technologies to help address challenges prevalent in the industry. Government policies such as Digital India as well as their investment in the start-up and SME space is a push in the right direction. TradeLens, a neutral and open solution platform, developed through a collaboration between Maersk and IBM, demonstrates strong acceptance and viability of the concept of a blockchain-based ecosystem for digitising global shipping. More than 100 participants from around the world and from multiple points in the supply chain are piloting the solution. It provides an excellent opportunity to the country for digitizing traditional paper-based processes and has the potential to stimulate the Indian economy and create billions of dollars’ worth of value for the entire logistics industry.

Moving forward, the basic requirement we see in the shipping & logistics sector in the upcoming year is the need to reduce the cost of logistics in the overall GDP and facilitating faster adoption of technology by Government and other key industry stakeholders. The problem can be resolved by developing logistics hubs at various strategic locations across the nation. While the focus should be on modernising existing port infrastructure and creating new ones, we should keep a keen eye on initiatives aimed to develop sustainable development in the industry including promoting green technology and most importantly skilling the talent to endure the evolving operation structure. The IMO adopted a new regulation effective globally from January 01 2020 for reducing emissions from vessels. This will contribute significantly to making our industry more sustainable in the future, as it will bring substantial improvements to human health in coastal areas. India’s recent ratification to the Hong Kong Convention, is another such example that will set global standards for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling in the country.

Furthermore, the overall supply chain integration will help companies be more efficient and in turn pass on the benefits to their customers. Maersk enables its customers to trade and grow by transporting goods anywhere in the world with focused efforts towards reducing the logistics costs.  Maersk works to provide customers with a simple end-to-end offering of products and services, coupled with a robust delivery network, taking the friction & complexity out of global supply chains.” {/mprestriction}

Related items

  • KONGSBERG delivers navigation simulator to Singapore maritime safety centre

    Kongsberg Digital has signed a contract to deliver an Advanced Navigation Research Simulator (ANRS) to the newly-established Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety, CEMS, in Singapore.

  • V. Group releases Life After Lockdown paper

    Ship management company V.Group has released its second discussion paper in the ‘Life After Lockdown’ series, examining the acceleration of digital engagement.

    Each paper focusses on a specific area of maritime operations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and sets out key lessons learned. 

    The first paper discussed crew engagement post Coronavirus whilst the second is entitled “The acceleration of digital engagement.”

    Each paper aims to challenge long-established ways the shipping industry operates by posing questions and inviting the views of others in the industry.

    The second paper, a 20-page document, explores whether the pandemic could be a catalyst for change, challenging entrenched ways of working in the maritime sector. It looks at the industry’s use of small data, the impact of digitalisation on crew wellbeing as well as digitalisation’s role as a tool to drive environmental change.  

    Stephen Macfarlane, Information Systems director at V.Group, said: “There’s no doubt the pandemic has been a catalyst for change and as we look to the future, this paper explores the extent to which it has accelerated the move towards digitalisation and digital engagement.  There’s no doubt the industry has taken great strides in recent years, but the pandemic and resulting lockdown has certainly had an impact and it’s vital we learn from this.

    “We’ve all been forced to change the way we work and communicate with each other and the paper discusses whether the move towards a more digital workforce could be a long-term change.”

    To download a copy of the second paper “The acceleration of digital engagement” click here 

  • Maersk launches digital supply chain management platform

    Maersk has launched a new digital platform, Maersk Flow, to assist small and medium sized businesses with the complexity of managing their supply chains.

  • MASSPorts initiative launched to develop autonomous shipping

    Representatives from China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, and Singapore have launched the MASSPorts initiative to collaborate on and develop Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) in ports.

  • ClassNK’s Innovation Endorsement service to certify innovative technology

    Classification Society ClassNK has launched a new service titled “Innovation Endorsement” for certifying innovative technology.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio


Register or Login to view even more of our content. Basic registration is free.

Register now

Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


Digital Ship Ltd
Digital Ship - Digital Energy Journal
39-41 North Road
N7 9DP
United Kingdom

Copyright © 2020 Digital Ship Ltd. All rights reserved           Cookie Policy         Privacy Policy