SHIPPING & MARINE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

2 in 3 shipping bosses look to e-commerce for digitising their firms

The other sectors they looked to were the transport and fintech & banking sectors.

Out of 300 maritime CEOs, CTOs and CFOs, 66.4% said they look to the retail, logistics, and e-commerce for the digitalisation of the industry, it was revealed at the "Global Perspectives: The Future of Shipping" forum at Singapore Maritime Week 2018. About 20.4% look to the transport sector, whilst 13.6% look to the fintech and banking sector.

This is the second question out of three asked in the forum. When asked if whether digitalisation is "for real" or "just a hype," 81.4% answered the latter, 12.9% said it's still too early to comment on it, whilst 5.7% said it was just a hype.

Grab Singapore country head Lim Kell Jay, who was part of the panel, said he was surprised about the 5.7% figure, “because if that were true, Grab wouldn’t exist." IBM Haifa Research Lab, AI - Multimedia, senior manager Tal Drory noted that AI would be transforming all industries in the future.

Various other questions were brought up by the audience, including one on how to attract younger talent to the maritime industry. Drory said he was optimistic that with "the industry becoming more computerised and digitised, the appeal to the younger generation would become higher".

Finally, when asked what they considered was the best strategy for coping with the opportunities of AI, blockchain, and data analytics disruptions, 63.3% opted to partner with a company in the field, 27.5% thought to create or join an industry consortium, and 9.2% chose to invest in or buy an AI or blockchain start-up.

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