All week we’re peering into the future, questioning what 2017 has in store for shipping. Today we ask the founder of Futurenautics, KD Adamson, for her predictions on the coming 12 months.
2017 will see the foundations of what the shipping industry will become being laid down; the ecosystems, platforms and relationships begin to align, and the players who will shape the future emerge. The likelihood is that they will be quite different to those currently featuring on industry influence lists. For some people all this will appear to come out of the blue, but in reality the tectonic plates have been shifting for several years now and what you’ll see is the product of investment, big strategic thinking, and sheer hard work.
Shipping is becoming information-enabled and shifting onto an exponential growth curve rather than the linear one we’re used to. In the relationship between the two there’s an inflection point after which those on the exponential curve begin to accelerate away very quickly. The difference is so dramatic that catching them soon becomes pretty much impossible. Shipping could well reach that inflection point in 2017.
The linear view – counter-cyclical investment in tonnage and knowing how to operate ships – is unlikely to deliver competitive differentiation going forward. We build our own futures, but those who don’t start creating a digital vision for their organisation inside the next twelve months will have a profoundly tougher one than those you’re going to see break cover in 2017.