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Shipping zooms ahead

For those of you, like me, of a UK heritage I can heartily recommend the Twitter feed of @SoVeryBritish, which features the musings of Rob Temple, the hilarious author of many books on the embarrassment that it is to be a subject of Her Majesty. On confinement, Rob tweeted the other day:

Zoom calls this month: 40
Times you’ve said “ok great” on them: 40,000

I can wincingly confirm that’s been the case for yours truly on countless video calls over the last few months. Nevertheless, I am now down with it all – the Zoom way of doing business is fine with me, so long as the teenagers in the house next door are not gazumping the entire village’s bandwidth.

The fact is we’ve all got onboard with this new way of life far better than we might have imagined – even my parents in their late 70s are suddenly up to speed with WhatsApp all of a sudden.

I was taken by comments made by Knut Ørbeck-Nielssen earlier this month.

Speaking via video link for a press event for the rearranged SMM shipping exhibition in Hamburg, the CEO of class society DNV GL – Maritime said the current pandemic had “turbocharged” shipping’s digitalisation drive.

“Within just a few months the pandemic has turbocharged the sector’s digitalisation journey, advancing it by half a decade,” Ørbeck-Nielssen claimed.

It’s an interesting point. By just how much has our current confinement actually sped up shipping’s digital path, a question I am now posing to many in the industry in our new Dualog-sponsored Maritime CEO Tech Leader Series.

Covid-19 has been a catalyst, allowing us to rediscover technologies that have been around for a while but now have a new emphasis, argued Claus Nehmzow, the chief innovation officer at Eastern Pacific Shipping, in a widely watched video in our ongoing series. Nehmzow, the former COO at music app Shazam, said the digitalisation of shipping processes with trusted technology had come to the fore in recent months, serving as an impetus for further innovation.

May 2020

Contents

Monthly round-up
Dry bulk market
Tanker market
Container market
Analyst abstract
S&P trends
Feature
Interview
Data
Opinion

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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