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2018: a year of decision for the maritime industry

THE year ahead for shipping and the wider maritime sector is expected to be unlike any year we have experienced for the past decade.

The reason is simple: in 2018 shipping will at last acknowledge that it needs to stop looking back to the peak years of 2006-08 for its ‘normal’ cycle, and start looking ahead to the decade after 2020. The significance of that transformation – turning from the past to the future; from nostalgia for what has gone to anticipation of what’s to come – cannot be understated. This is the background for the Lloyd’s List’s Outlook 2018 webinar.

Both Lloyd’s List and Transas, the sponsor for this event, believe the challenges are outweighed by the opportunities. Even so, this transformation will be life-changing for many businesses operating ships and services.

Some of these businesses are sufficiently down the line to embrace disruption and the change of direction it will bring. They understand the demands of digitalisation and the benefits of data analysis. Benefits such as smart operations, e-navigation, manufacturer-to-customer thinking rather than the traditional port-to-port perspective. They recognise that in the fast-moving maritime ecosystem of the next decade, partnerships will feature much more frequently; and they acknowledge that ships and the maritime infrastructure, while part of the solution, won’t be the answer to every problem.

Disruptive technologies: Be careful what you wish for!

In every one of these sectors the potential for growth has expanded at an astonishing rate, and there is expectation that 2018 will see developments that link e-commerce expertise with the logistics supply chain. Shipping businesses can choose to be an early partner in this evolution of trade or to wait until the consequences become clearer.

That decision – to take part or to stand aside – will be taken in 2018.

There will be implications for every aspect of the shipping industry, from vessel operating efficiency through to individual companies’ environmental footprint, and from recruitment of the next generation of shipboard skills to the characteristics of the board of directors. It will be a truly transformative year for maritime.

In the Lloyd’s List Outlook 2018 webinar on November 30th, two industry experts will explore the year ahead from a fresh perspective. Richard Meade, managing editor of Lloyd’s List and Frank Coles, chief executive officer of Transas, will assess the building blocks of a digital future for shipping as at the beginning of 2018, the potential for further development over the course of the year ahead, and the maritime world as it will look as we move into 2019. Moderated by Lloyd’s List chief correspondent Richard Clayton, this webinar will assess the nature of disruption in the shipping industry, its consequences for the operation of maritime businesses in the short term, and the implications for the industry over the coming five years.

“For many traditional shipping businesses, the coming transformation will be unsettling – even destructive” 
Richard Clayton, chief correspondent, Lloyd's List

We will weigh up the prospects for businesses that choose in 2018 to begin moving towards greater digitalisation against businesses that decide it’s not for them. Will disruption really be as significant as the futurists forecast or will the conservative characteristics of traditional shipping act as a safeguard? We analyse whether investment in smart shipping will see payback in the short-term, increasing competitive advantage for early-adopters. And we look at whether digitalisation will help reduce harmful emissions, increase operating efficiencies, and provide a safer working environment for seafarers.

We ask how shipping will become more closely aligned with the broader supply chain, with the manufacturer-to-customer dynamic, and with the beneficial cargo owners that are the ultimate paymasters.

As the engine of globalisation, shipping takes a world view

Shipping spends much of its time thinking about how it can survive in an uncertain trading world, however much of this navel-gazing now seems of little value. Although dealing with the daily grind of the business of shipping, there’s something rather defeatist in hoping for further rises in dry bulk freight rates or another hundred dollars per box on trans-Pacific services in 2018 when the wave of digital disruption is about to crash over the industry. This webinar begins from the premise that the year 2018 will look forward to a digital future, rather than back at an analogue past.

Lloyd’s List Outlook 2018 webinar

With Richard Meade, managing editor, Lloyd’s List; Frank Coles, Chief executive, Transas; moderated by Richard Clayton, Chief correspondent, Lloyd’s List

Date: Thursday November 30th

Time: 16:00 GMT

Click here to register for this webinar

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