The Curious Case of the Missing Ship
Many ports are getting smarter, but ships are not yet fully-integrated into most smart port collaboration platforms. Matt Kenney takes a look at why, and asks what shipping can do to bridge the divide.
Earlier this year I attended a port innovation symposium where an international group of port and technology thought leaders discussed current and future trends in digital port operations.
I listened to speakers describe port collaboration systems, port community systems, terminal operating systems, and the transposition of data into new, more secure formats like blockchain. All of these technologies are convening, if not yet conspiring, to deliver solutions for the lean, digitally-enabled maritime supply chain of tomorrow. Although opinions differed on methods and timescales, the speakers did agree on the notion that we are amidst a tectonic shift in port value chains. Enabled by Industry 4.0, this shift will bring new efficiencies to the quayside, hailing a fundamental change in attitude towards intermodal port supply chain partners.
However, as the discussions began to conclude, I sensed something was amiss. Indeed, I felt there was an elephant in the room: a top-level, international collective of thought leaders from the cutting edge of port technology and innovation, had astonishingly, failed to mention one word: ‘Ship’!