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Navis identifies trends for 2021

Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation, has identified its top predictions and trends that will drive the industry in 2021 and the technology that will be most impactful for meaningful operations in the coming year.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Navis’ predictions for the cargo supply chain include:

More investment in cloud-based technologies

As a result of social distancing measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site management of terminal operations had decreased this year in exchange for more remote operations made possible by innovative technology. According to Navis’ customer survey, titled “Understanding Your Terminal Strategy with Cloud-based Technologies,” market interest in cloud-based solutions are on the rise - in fact, per the survey, interest in these solutions had risen nearly 40 per cent compared to last year (54 per cent in 2019 vs. 93 per cent in 2020), with 79 per cent of respondents having an existing timeline to move or considering moving to the cloud.

“We’ve seen the cloud-based technology trend in the ocean shipping industry increase exponentially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and expect it to continue to rise next year,” said Younus Aftab, chief product officer at Navis. “Terminals are realising they can perform nearly all tasks remotely, which allows them to streamline workflow, cut down on costs and prioritise safety for their staff, leading to more reliable and stable operations to best serve their customers.”

Rise of smart technology for inland and marine logistics

This year has demonstrated the value of enhanced visibility and predictability in operations, and the importance of technology that can collect and analyse data to help stakeholders make better business decisions. According to the “Automation 2020: Perceptions, challenges and opportunities for Container Terminal Automation” Navis customer survey, 94 per cent of respondents agreed that artificial intelligence and machine learning would be critical to improve optimisation at automated terminals at some level in the near future. These offerings, along with other innovative technology, will help terminals maximise operational results across the inland and ocean shipping industries and uncover new insights for strategic business outcomes.

Automation adoption at terminals will accelerate

Automation has been on the rise in the industry for several years, however terminals are now more rapidly turning to the technology to uplevel productivity and keep up with the changing industry landscape in an effort to remain competitive. According to the Navis “Automation 2020: Perceptions, challenges and opportunities for Container Terminal Automation” customer survey, 94 per cent believe it will be important for terminals to automate operations in the next 3-5 years. Additionally, 70 per cent of terminals believe automation could increase productivity by 15 per cent or more, with increased operational safety (82 per cent) and lower overall terminal operation costs (73 per cent) as its biggest benefits, proving the importance of incorporating it in the overall business plan.

Increase focus on sustainable operations

With the bigger focus on the supply chain this year, many companies have been forced to reevaluate their logistics strategies to ensure assets are being used to deliver value for the business and the environment. In the first half of 2020, decreased traffic at congested ports and terminals around the world had a positive impact on the air quality and environment, reinforcing the longer-term sustainability trend we were already seeing. Innovative technology to help terminals monitor operations to run more efficiently and the use of rail instead of trucks for transport, are expected to be on the rise to help ports and terminals achieve more sustainable outcomes. {/mprestriction}

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