Despite reaching record lows in 2020, the shipping industry at large recovered substantially over the first half of 2021.
All shipping avenues recouped well, but capesize cargo ships showed particularly impressive improvement, gaining back more than 300% of its record low value in the middle of February 2021, according to Zeymarine.
Much of this is due to shipping companies redoubling their investments on new and experimental shipping tech. Smart tech is taking over every aspect of our lives, but for sectors like shipping, they’ve become the difference between survival and ruin. Let’s take a look at some of the tech innovations that made this possible.
Augmented Data Analysis
With the arrival of IoT, data-led solutions to maritime issues have never been easier to formulate. Shipping companies can now leverage modern connectivity tech to generate large stockpiles of data which can improve efficiency and safety throughout all of their operations.
The main advantage to IoT is the ability to gather real-time information about all components of the shipping company, at all times. The implications this has for data analytics are immense. For one thing, there will be virtually no data points lost throughout the entirety of the shipping operation.
Analysts and engineers will be able to keep track of every detail that goes into shipping, including things such as shipping vehicle performance, route optimization, cargo weights, container types, and other information that could be of use.
Digital Route Optimizations
Smart tech is now beginning to dominate transport, and shipping is benefiting greatly from this development. The primary enemy of shipping is route inefficiency, but the continued digitization of the world is slowly putting an end to this.
Digital route management is bringing optimal speed to all aspects of the shipping industry, from maritime cargo vessels to overland courier services. Using real-time route conditions, trends, weather, and other information, operators are able to direct handlers to the optimal paths that will get packages to their destinations in the least amount of time.
Along the route, smart maneuvering tech will save shipping vehicles from hiccups and mishaps, removing or reducing pitfalls of human error such as collisions due to inattentiveness or low visibility. According to LSO, this is of particular importance when it comes to ensuring safe delivery of packages.
The primary advantage such regional shipping companies have over more far-reaching ones like UPS and FedEx is their intimacy with their home location and their customer service. Tech-based solutions like digital route enhancements let them keep that edge, always putting them one step ahead of their larger competitors.
Smart Engines and Systems
Another product of smart vehicle tech, digitally enhanced engines and systems are making shipping vehicles more effective at plying their routes.
Using an onboard computer, drivers and captains are able to squeeze much more performance out of their engines by enabling finer adjustments and adjusting tolerance values beyond what is usually allowed for human operators.
This allows for more accurate and safer maneuvering. Paired with real-time status readings and analytics thanks to IoT, this all equates to giving ship captains and delivery drivers more control and vital information than they’ve ever had before.
Tech-led solutions are arguably what saved shipping from the uncertain times of 2020 and early 2021. Now, it would seem that they’re poised to be a deciding factor of the future of the industry. Just as with many other sectors, we can reasonably expect the commercial smart tech revolution to define what shipping will look like from here on out.