Maritime industrys need for digital transformation surfaces

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the need for seamless information flows among global maritime industry stakeholders to the surface.

This COVID crisis has at least made one thing very clear, said Jaco Voorspuij. During the rush to deliver personal protective equipment and toilet paper, people make distinctions between essential and nonessential goods, meaning you need to know quite a lot of detail about the cargo. The maritime mode has struggled a lot to provide the information to those that need it to clear the goods through Customs and make them available at the right place at the right time. 

Voorspuij, the senior manager of transport and logistics for GS1 Global, was a panelist Thursday during a MarineTraffic-hosted webinar, Maritime Digitalization: Unlocking Opportunities for the Shipping Industry, along with Jonathan Lewis, the innovation manager for the U.K. Hydrographic Office; Stellios Stratidakis, the head of data for MarineTraffic in Athens, Greece; Simon George, the technical director for Metro Shipping in the U.K.; and Bob den Ouden, manager of special projects for MSC in the Netherlands.

Voorspuij said the need to follow essential goods through the supply chain has shown that the air and rail industries have made far more progress adopting electronic bills of lading than maritime.

For instance, in air cargo, penetration is about 60% or better for consignments being moved under an electronic airway bill, he said. Similar levels of electronic paperwork are still f....

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