Ports benefitting from IoT & autonomous cars
The container port sector is benefitting from huge investments from start-ups and major technology businesses due to the enormous mass-market opportunity for technologies connected to the Internet of Things and autonomous cars — “a market … several orders of magnitude larger than the container shipping industry”.
That’s according to Jari Hämäläinen, terminal automation director at Kalmar, who commented in a Port2060 blog that these investments “will speed up development to a pace that we can scarcely imagine”.
“Most significantly for our own industry, we will see new solutions, lower prices and faster progress for technology that can also be applied to our specialised field,” Mr Hämäläinen said.
“When mass-market demand fuels the rapid development of autonomous cars, we in the container shipping industry will be able to reap the benefits and develop our own offering further, without having to invent every solution from scratch.”
The director explained in his article — entitled “The autonomous world is coming: Are we leaders or followers?” — that autonomous cars and vessels are now undergoing “disruptive experimentation and a rapid ramp-up to commercially-viable mass-market solutions in uncontrolled environments”, and autonomous cars are catching up with the achievement of container terminals.
Mr Hämäläinen also offered a vision of the future the world is quickly moving towards: “an autonomous, automated and transparent future of global logistics” where “cars, road trucks and container vessels operate autonomously and smoothly together, containers and other types of cargo are handled in a highly-efficient manner and fully-automated terminals adopt modern tools and technologies that attract skilled employees”.
With the future logistics chain, a transparent information flow goes across the cargo handling and global supply chain from producer to consumer and “openness and transparency pave the way for new competitors and partners, many of which will own or operate no physical assets”, allowing “highly-optimised cargo handling operations in which logistics companies sell business performance and sustainability instead of mere transportation of goods”.
“When we start to enable fully-digital, transparent end-to-end transactions, we will be able to connect factories, assembly lines, cargo brokers, forwarders, trucks, cargo vessels, trains and warehouses into one continuous digital supply chain,” Mr Hämäläinen said.
Read the full article here.
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