New advancements in technology are changing nearly all aspects of daily life and nearly all major industries. Technology is already shaping the shipping industry and as new innovations are available, experts predict those innovations will lead to even more changes – particularly for international shipping. Here are a few of the predictions for the future of international shipping.
International Shipping Automation Technology
In an age where driver-less cars are hitting the streets in cities across the globe, it’s not a huge stretch to anticipate how similar technology can work in shipping. Automated container ships could decrease cost and significantly increase the volume of ocean freight shipping. Additionally, increased automation at ports will streamline loading and unloading of containers using various automated equipment and drones.
Shift in Role of Freight Brokers/Forwarders
With increases in digitization and automation in freight shipping, the role of freight brokers will shift to focus deeper on ensuring compliance with national and international shipping requirements. Freight brokers’ expertise on customs requirements for both shipments coming into the U.S. and also customs requirements for shipments leaving the U.S. for other countries may shift them into more advisory roles. Of course, freight brokers will continue to play a strong role in customer service and assistance.
Decreased Competition in Shipping
The shippers who can keep up with implementing the latest technologies in the most efficient way will gain an edge over smaller shippers who can often be slower to implement expensive new technology advancements. Larger shippers are already acquiring smaller shippers and narrowing the field. New innovations are likely to speed up this consolidation process, or even give larger shippers leverage to push smaller shippers out of business completely. The options for international shipping will streamline more going forward, eventually leaving three or four very large major carriers, industry experts predict.
Changes are ahead for international shipping, courtesy of new technology and innovation. How fast these changes happen depends on several factors, however, industry insiders tend to be fairly accurate on forecasting upcoming changes in international shipping.