Digitalization Wave In The Shipping Industry

The shipping industry has a long history and is the foundation of the today’s civilization. First shipping activities are dated back to the late 5th millennium BC and since then, maritime transportation has constantly been growing.

Today the maritime transportation market has become a core element for every industry and will continue to grow as the world’s population is constantly growing and thus new needs have to be satisfied. According to the International Maritime Organization over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea and it is the most cost-effective way to move goods and raw materials all around the world. Not only the demand for transportation by sea has changed but also the way how business is conducted today.

container ship at sea
Image for representation purpose only

Markets have become much more complex and shipping companies are faced with much more competition and regulations that need to be respected. Vessels have become much more modern, bigger and faster in order to move more goods from one corner of the world to the other within a shorter timeframe.

To keep up with the market’s complexity and pace shipping companies are constantly improving the way of how they’re concluding their business, which involves, of course, taking the digitalization into account. Other industries have been affected by the digitalization much earlier than the shipping industry, which is due to the complexity of the maritime industry.

When we look back at the digitalization history within the shipping industry many trading houses only used spreadsheets and their phone or yahoo to complete their daily business in the past. Even today it is common to stick to spreadsheets in order to keep track of the business activities. In the 90’s first complete maritime systems have been available and thus the digital shipping evolution continued. Companies were able to complete complex evaluations and to better identify business opportunities and risks.

However, every coin has two sides. Since the shipping market is very complex only a few software vendors could offer a suitable product to the maritime industry. This led to a market concentration and finally towards a monopoly market situation which had an equivalent impact on the pricing of this kind of software solutions. Many other industries have decided to move their IT environment into the cloud to avoid expensive and complex on-side software installations. SalesForce.com became the leading CRM system in the cloud, Amazon became the leading market place in the cloud and even our friends and business partners became part of the cloud by using social networks. The digital environment shifted in many industries from software solutions to the cloud. Many companies could benefit from the cloud evolution, which offered them the same or even broader functionalities for a far lower budget.

Furthermore, by working with cloud solutions companies were enabled to keep up with their business without losing time for complex in-house installations. This is exactly what is currently happening in the shipping industry. “Singular Point” is moving the shipping industry into the cloud and will set new digital standards within the industry. Digitalization will allow the industry to set a new digital framework of how information can or should be exchanged between different counterparties in the future. Many companies out there want to sit in the front row seat during this digital transformation and currently invest in this kind of technologies as everyone wants to ride the digital wave to set new standards of information exchange within the industry – even Singular Point.

What opportunities and challenges would digitalization bring? The opportunities clearly lie in protecting the budget while increasing the efficiency. Digitalization will help to deliver better business results and to better control trading and operational risks in one place. Timing is, of course, another opportunity as shipping and trading companies need to be able to react much faster today than they did in the past. Cloud technology within the digitalization wave will unleash those opportunities.

Today the main challenge lies in integrating different systems into one. A company might work with an ERP system or an ETRM system (Energy Trading and Risk Management) and wants to have a shipping solution in place, that’s where the challenge starts. Communication is key and those different systems need to be able to talk to each other. Due to the cloud technology behind Singular Point’s MARiS, which will be available in late summer 2018, system integration will no longer be a big deal and painful system integrations will become history. The digital evolution has not come to an end yet and will continue to shape the industry’s future in every aspect.

ABOUT SINGULAR POINT.

Singular Point is a young and innovative Swiss company committed to the quality of his products and services. Headquartered in Zug Switzerland and with operation centers in Bel-grade and Rome. Singular Point is a fully privately-owned company focused on the logistic software market dedicated to trading and shipping companies. With more than 20 years of experience in building logistic solutions and based on an extensive market knowledge, the team is designed to fulfill Singular Point’s vision: to embrace the maritime logistic challenges into one single suite of software instruments and to provide our customers with the most cost-efficient, cutting-edge and reliable enterprise logistic solution.

Learn more about Singular Point at www.singular-point.com or send an e-mail to darko.novakovic@singular-point.com.

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