Influence of Automation on the Shipping Industry

Automation is Influencing the Shipping Industry Today

Automation is becoming a crucial aspect of any industry due to technological advancements in banking, retail, hospitality, and more. The shipping industry is no different regarding the developments caused by assistive technologies. One can witness automation's influence on the shipping industry by bringing together AI automation and analytics to change the future of logistics. In the digital age, consumer expectations are rising concerning shipping handling and delivery times. Therefore, the shipping industry is moving towards adopting cutting-edge technologies for driving sustainable supply chains by making a proactive approach to satisfying the never-ending needs of customers. There are numerous benefits of leveraging the latest technologies, which can bring a dynamic change in how the shipping industry works. Not only improving the efficiency of operations, but automation is also helping this industry to improve predictive skills and real-time analytics for optimized operational performance. This blog will give detailed insights into the influence of automation on the shipping industry.

What are the benefits of automation in shipping for an improved future?


Automation adoption has become particularly important for the shipping industry as it will continue to generate positive results. Soon, it will take away repetitive and mundane tasks by making less human intervention in the operational process. No doubt, there is a positive influence of automation on the shipping industry in which effective software and tools will boost quality and speed. Let us look at some of the advantages of automation to the shipping industry.

  • Route Optimization

With automation, you can determine the correct and optimized route by building optimization models. Advanced analytics make it easy for businesses to choose the best path to ensure seamless delivery. By considering weather and fuel usage, you may decide whether to add a second delivery stop or eliminate the ones that do not fall along a single route.

  • Less Shipping Cost

Since automation reduces labour from the operations, shipping costs are reduced as machines take over labour. For instance, cartonization is software that provides optimized packaging. It helps reduce dimensional weight surcharges that influence shipping costs, impacting the bottom line.

  • Higher Customer Satisfaction

Few errors can be made, and an automated shipping system may streamline all operational tasks. There are greater odds of on-time delivery and product handling when order processing and reprocessing are done appropriately. It results in happy customers who are certainly going to benefit your organization.

  • Improved Safety and Security

A lot of accidents can be reduced when an organization uses artificial intelligence to automate shipping activities. Also, threats and malicious activities are detected with the ease of AI, providing safety for shipping transactions. Shipping corporations and port management firms use machine learning algorithms for preventative maintenance. With the use of AI, they can spot machine problems before they become serious, leading to outages that disrupt the entire supply chain.

  • Predictive Analytics

The influence of automation on the shipping industry can also be seen from the advanced analytics and predictive tools that empower businesses to undertake data-driven decisions. Automated shipping systems are not only helping to accelerate predictive skills but also playing a crucial role in driving valuable business insights through performance forecasting. Depending on the historical data, one can predict changes and improve performance eventually.

  • Equipment Automation

The shipping industry is prone to many dynamic changes. Equipment automation helps in predicting future actions through machine learning capabilities. Identifying weather patterns or recognizing shipping seasons, automation makes it easier for the shipping industry to survive.

  • Increasing Efficiency

The shipping industry is concerned with packing, labelling, weighing, and sorting. All of these tasks are automated with today's fast-paced technologies. Automation helps make the process fluid and efficient compared to the job handled by personnel. When these tasks are accurately streamlined, you can process a high-volume order simultaneously. It will lead to increased capacity and higher revenue and profits.

Barriers to AI Implementation in Shipping Industry

Advances in technology have brought improved competitiveness in the shipping industry. But there are some challenges faced by the industry in successful automation adoption. Here are some of the barriers operational managers must overcome to move towards technological advancements using AI for a better future.

  • Data Integration

For the shipping industry to make high-quality judgments, sharing data is necessary. Integrating data in one location might be challenging when there aren't enhanced procedures for exchanging data. Moreover, data-driven insights are essential in the maritime industry to make accurate decisions at every stage of the product handling process.

  • Fear of Job Replacement

The influence of automation on the shipping industry is drastic as it eliminates human intervention at a significant level. This often creates a fear in people that they are being replaced by machines, also known as the "fear of the unknown". To keep up with the advancements made possible by the automated shipping system, workers must devote adequate time to adopting new technologies.

  • Lack of Clear Strategy

To determine whether this digital strategy is appropriately aligned with the organizational objectives, it is crucial to consider the strategic approach for automation adoption. To continue investing in AI-driven processes, businesses must grasp their primary goal. So, before launching full-resource AI programs, shipping companies must have a clear strategy.

  • Shortage of Talent

A persistent problem in adopting automation in the shipping industry is a need for more talent in operating new machinery and tools. A bottleneck caused by a lack of IT specialists prevents businesses from taking full advantage of the growing usage of AI. Recently, expertise related to AI and automation has been in great demand, and individuals who possess those capabilities often seek considerable wage increases. Eventually, it has become a challenge to overcome when it comes to upskilling the existing workforce or bringing in new talents.

Process of Digital Transformation

A digital transformation process is necessary to implement new technology, which frequently causes various concerns for businesses. Through resistance to change, one may identify cultural obstacles. But consider that improved efficiency and lower prices will result from new technology in the shipping industry.

Future of Automation in the Shipping Industry

Effective automation is reliant on data. In the digital era, the shipping industry is harnessing the power of extensive data capabilities to make the handling of vessels safe and efficient. Ships come in large sizes and are prone to potential collisions. The applications and software take over loads of logistic operators for ship maintenance and voyage planning.

Besides, there is an increasing trend of remote-controlled ships wherein sensors will provide data for navigational use. It gives safer operations for shipping owners as it safeguards them against unforeseen accidents and thereby gains transparency between ship and shore.

The shipping industry is struggling to retain itself from the shocks of the pandemic. Automation through advanced technologies can bring digital transformation to the industry. Innovations in logistic operations and supply chain cause various positive changes for moving towards intelligent shipping. The owners can save on high costs and maintain efficiencies when done right. Automation comes with many challenges, but one can overcome them with a strategy that will bring growth in the future.

LOTUS Containers is a leading shipping container supplier that helps you buy new and used containers in all types and dimensions by following the latest trends in supply chain and world trade. Visit our website and social media for more information.