Delos Shipping’s Brian Ladin — The Shipping Industry is Destined for Grand Changes
As is the norm with all industries, the world of shipping has endured its fair share of adjustments throughout the last 20 years. Technological innovations, contrary to popular belief, have actually contributed to the rate of maritime accidents. Before these advancements, a cargo ship would usually carry a crew of 50, give or take. That number has been cut in half routinely, as the supply of crew members outweighs the demand. These workers face grueling schedules and deadlines, pushing until exhaustion becomes prevalent. Fatigue and stress, combined with staff shortages, greater traffic levels and expeditious turnarounds, result in maritime accidents. Multiple studies show that 84 percent of maritime mishaps stem from human error. To combat this trend, inspired leadership and an emphasis on safety have become extremely vital. Delos Shipping, a company based in Dallas, Texas, like all other shipping enterprises, will have to maintain its flexibility and adaptability to stay on top of these swift changes. Brian Ladin, its CEO, has graciously summarized a few of the more major changes that are on the horizon for the shipping industry.
Time is a commodity that cannot be returned to a customer and, to their credit, forward-thinking retail industries appreciate this. With retailers such as Amazon and Walmart vying for an online consumer’s business, shipping partners are lining up to secure the transportation. As retailers give customers new, gripping incentives — Amazon’s same-day delivery promise through Amazon Prime Now has raised the bar — the shipping companies have to stay attuned to these transitions or risk losing out to a competitor. According to Brian Ladin, new technology is the name of the game now; shipping companies are constantly experimenting, hoping to unearth a new method that will cut down costs and times while improving efficiency.
Automation & Artificial Intelligence
Experts, including Brian Ladin, proclaim that all major shipping projects will rely on artificial intelligence and automation heavily because it will become instrumental in keeping their businesses afloat. Amazon has already resorted to experimenting automated drones for delivering smaller packages a short distance away from its distribution centers. Their drone delivery system assures customers that packages will promptly arrive within 30 minutes or less and, with online buying and digital transactions expected to hit record heights by 2027, it could become the industry standard before we know it. Autonomous forklifts, trucks and cars will be the next step, as Amazon has already confirmed their intent on establishing driverless technology. Artificial intelligence, not to be outdone by automation, will put companies in an envious position of devising more rational decisions. Brian Ladin states that carriers will revamp weather reports, delivery waits and cost-efficiency, making the logistics run more smoothly. Robots could, reasonably, control the assembly lines, sorting and scanning packages as they arrive.
Tracking packages that are en route to their destination is already a feature of online shopping. A shipping number is provided, and, with that, you can see how far along your package is, the expected delivery date and, as an added bonus, any unforeseen delays. As outlandish as it sounds, there are plans to make more information open to the customers with real-time updates and GPS coordination. You will literally, for all intents and purposes, see what is in your package’s line of sight. Digital payment options will only strengthen in numbers, as trade dealings that involve cash exchanges become obsolete. As such, cyber security will be taken up a notch to protect all parties from fraudulent activities.
Smaller Fleets & Packaging
As the old adage says: “good things come in small packages”. More fleets are expected to be deployed to handle the shipping industry’s increasing workload in the future; however, the ships themselves will likely be downsized, promoting speed and timely deliveries. Fleets will also complete more roundtrips from the reduction in size. Brian Ladin states that in continuing with this theme of diminishing size, shippers will hope to cram as much volume into every compartment as is manageable and smaller packaging is expected to ease this concern. Less bulk, more spaciousness for packages; numerous companies have already begun discarding redundant packaging in their shipments.