Ineffective data sharing and poor cross-industry collaboration is resulting in costly inefficiencies for the maritime industry, revealed a report and industry survey by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, alongside maritime technology partners Navis and XVELA. Titled ‘Competitive Gain in the Ocean Supply Chain: Innovation That’s Driving Maritime Operational Transformation,’ the study is based on a global survey of more than 200 executives and professionals from terminal operators, carriers, logistics providers, vessel owners, port authorities, shippers, consignees and other members of the global ocean supply chain.
The study indicates that digitisation and a shift in mindset could tackle the industry’s lack of synchronisation and insufficient data insight, which has led to a lack of visibility and predictability amongst importers, exporters, container carriers, terminal operators, vessel owners and other stakeholders. According to respondents, the areas most in need of improvement are: 1) carrier to terminal coordination, 2) supply chain visibility and information sharing, 3) terminal operations, 4) cargo flow visibility and predictability, and 5) coordination across carrier alliances.
90% of the survey’s participants said real-time data access and information sharing would increase the efficiency and performance of the shipping industry while 82% the industry’s supply chain visibility needed improvement. 54 % said the industry’s “slow to change” attitude was one of the biggest roadblocks to improving collaboration, while 49% cited the cost and complexity of legacy systems. On average, responses estimated that a wide range of ocean supply chain processes could be improved by between 55% - 66% with the industry updating IT systems and improving its ability to share data with other members of the supply chain.
Despite the major economic challenges of the global cargo shipping industry, respondents anticipated a turnaround in the next two years, with 27% expecting improvement in profitability while 35% expect not profitability but stability.