Rarely has the importance of Maritime Logistics for trade and development been more evident than during 2022. Historically, high and volatile freight rates, congestion, closed Ports and new demands for shipping following COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine have all had measurable impacts on the global supply chain and people’s lives. With ships carrying over 80% of global trade volume, higher shipping costs and lower Maritime connectivity lead to higher inflation, shortages of food, and interruptions of supply chains–all of which are among the features of the current global crisis.
But 2022 has also been a remarkable year for the Maritime industry, where greener shipping and digitisation became the mandate. The industry stands as a testimony to its resilience and has survived for centuries. Considering the positives and negatives of 2022, here are some trends that internal subject matter experts in Kale believe could become game-changing or disruptive in 2023.
Sustainability has been the focal point across industries for many years, yet emission levels are soaring daily. Industry experts believe that the time has come to get into action to solve this crisis. Shipping Lines, Maritime Port Authorities, and other stakeholders are keenly looking to leverage technology to ensure the same. From Port Community Systems to e-Marketplaces, other point solutions are set to see a soaring demand in 2023.
Maritime and air cargo were characteristically incompatible, implying that Port and Airport operations were planned separately. While this statement is still valid, several changes took place in recent years, with the emergence of a level of integration between Port and Airport terminals and their supply chains. And 2023 will see a sharp rise in the emergence of Sea-Air digital trade corridors worldwide. The Sea-Air corridor is the platform that connects both these modes of transport to form new synergies in the supply chain. This link will establish seamless cargo movement with advanced information sharing and connect the relevant stakeholders from both modes.
While digitisation is seen as a boon, several stakeholders are reluctant to digitise their operations because of the rising cyber-attacks. According to a news report, the cyber-attacks in the UK in October 2022 rose by 40 per cent compared to 2020. Therefore, IT solutions providers are keenly looking to build a firewall or get a fresh IT solution provider and make it safer for all users simultaneously.
In May 2022, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced fresh amendments to the existing FAL Convention. Port Authorities, Governments, and other Regulatory bodies associated with the Maritime trade are deemed to follow these rules before 01 January 2024 compulsorily. The mandate suggests and emphasises aspects such as mandatory digitisation, implementation of a Single Window System in every Port, and inculcation of the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, the rush to adhere to these norms will eventually be high, as IMO is keen on ensuring all stakeholders fall in line.
Improving freight visibility and resolving truck congestion has been the talking point for nearly a decade. However, lack of operational efficiency is one challenge that hardly got any spotlight. According to a study, a lack of efficiency in a cargo complex causes more delays than truck congestion. Therefore, Yard Operators, Forwarders, Shipping Lines, Port Authorities and others are deploying enterprise solutions and a holistic solution to address the lack of efficiency in 2023.
The world is evolving, and so is the need to transform. Moreover, the need to digitise and achieve cost efficiency is high in a post-pandemic world and a recession looming scenario. In addition, greener shipping will also see a significant push in the coming years. Therefore, 2023 will be a year to watch for the Maritime industry.