Technology is one if the most important and exciting aspects of human life. It has led humanity to a more sustainable future and extended their average lifespan. As we approach the COVID-19 crisis, Victor Restis from Greece, a shipping magnate and president and CEO of Enterprises Shipping and Trade touches on new technologies for shipping and trade.
The article describes technological advancements in the shipping sector and trade industry that were made possible by COVID. In the early days of shipping, ships were not powered but sailed and were guided by the stars. Today, ships use both power (of course), and advanced navigational systems to chart routes based upon speed, weather, cargo, time, etc. The ships are designed to transport cargo the fastest, safelyst, and least expensively possible. This technology drives the process. However, it seems that a new age in international shipping is emerging and that implementations are occurring at a record speed.
Mr. Restis speaks of technologies such as virtual reality (AR) and artificial intelligence which are being applied in shipping and commerce to continue with the fastest, best, and most timely delivery. There are also grander targets like reducing carbon emission and using alternative energy to move ships across oceans. These technologies are changing the face of almost every industry, including shipping and trade.
Technologies aren’t just being directed at machines; they are also being directed towards human resources, which power international supply chain chains. The use of virtual reality and distance learning to complete recertifications, safety testing, and other operational programs is cost-effective and safer. These tests are no longer conducted in a classroom setting. Instead, seafarers can complete these courses from their home or aboard their vessel.
Restis touches on autonomous shipping. That is, large cargo vessels can be controlled entirely by AI or remote locations. However, it is unlikely this scenario will ever happen in the near future despite the incredible advances made by technology. Yes, I agree. But the technology is there. These self-driving vehicles are improving, and commercial planes can now take-off and land electronically. With AI, it makes sense that robots and AI may be able to help cargo vessels. Technology is being used to improve our systems and keep us safe in times of global pandemics. It will certainly be interesting to see what technology is implemented in the coming year.