Digitalization of the shipping industry and training

Dr Katerina Konsta, 1st Regional Conference WISTA Argentina, Buenos Aires June 2018

During the Regional Conference, held at Buenos Aires at June 2018 by WISTA Argentina, Dr Katerina Konsta was requested to speak about Digitalization of the shipping industry and training.

Early signs of the digital revolution are already here. Amazon Business, a B2B e-commerce platform launched in April 2015, turned over $1 billion in sales in its first year, growing at an impressive 20 percent per month.When business leaders talk about going digital, many are uncertain about what that means beyond buying the latest IT system.  Companies do need assets like computers, servers, networks, and software, but those purchases are just the start. Digital leaders stand out from their competitors in two ways:

  1. how they put digital to work, especially in engaging with clients and suppliers, and
  2. how intensively their employees use digital tools in every aspect of their daily activities.

In the past years we have seen digitization bring its first benefits to the industrial sector, particularly in processing and manufacturing, yet enormous untapped potential remains. Shipping is lagging behind digitalization although this is considered to be the future. A company can differentiate its service provided by investing in:

  1. digital assets;
  2. digital usage, and
  3. digital employees (on shore and offshore)
1st Regional Conference WISTA

The crucial difference is provided by the digital employed.

The shipping industry is increasingly incorporating technological tools, such as blockchain and Internet of Things, to improve different dimensions of operations for increased safety and sustainability and for reduced costs and risks. The adoption of these technologies is already having an impact changing business models, raising concerns about future increasing concentration in the sector.

Increased exposure to cyber threats is another area of potential concern. Companies increasingly need each employee to bring greater digital skills to bear on every activity. That’s the only way to unleash innovation and capture efficiencies at an institutional level. In some cases, new hires may be necessary, but investing in ongoing employee capability building and cultural change could pay real dividends.