How Covid19 Will Change Shipping
We’ve heard so many people saying “nothing will ever be the same again”. That is probably one of the few quotes that we can honestly not argue against at the moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has had huge impacts on all industries throughout the world, some for the better and some for the worse. Without a shadow of a doubt, this virus has had a significant impact on the shipping industry, with imports, exports, and cruise ships feeling the impacts significantly. What will the shipping industry look like once the world gets to grips with a “new normal”? We take a look at how covid19 will change shipping. [Disclaimer: this is an opinion piece and supported factually as widely as possible].
Advancement in Adoption of Technology and Digitalisation
With lockdowns happening widely across the globe, remote technologies have taken centre stage, allowing businesses to continue operating without their employees being physically present in the office. This has also led to increased use of automation where machines undertake tasks that humans would normally do, but aren’t able to under lockdown conditions. Supply chains will continue to digitalize at a faster rate, which will impact shipping – hopefully in a positive way with streamlined processes. One thing that has become apparent during this time of crisis is the value and importance of being connected and communicating, made possible by the internet and technology. In the future, we can expect to see automation taking a greater role in shipping, with the eventual rollout of unmanned ships in the far future.
Reduced Demand for Containers
China was the first country hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, and one of the first countries to enter into a lockdown. While they may no longer be in lockdown, this had a huge impact on imports and exports from this country, which is known as a main exporter. With fewer goods being shipped, there is a decrease in demand for containers. The knock-on effect has been significant. In South Africa, restrictions on goods allowed to be imported and exported also caused a decrease in demand for containers, and this was a similar situation in many countries around the world. With container demand decreases, we can expect to see container manufacturers increasing their prices to combat losses made from fewer sales.
Cruise Ship Holidays as We Know Them Will Change
Before cruise ships can take to the seas again, there will be some big changes, some of which are already underway. Experts predict that ‘normal’ cruise operations will only resume in 2021, however, according to booking sit CruiseCompete, cruise ship reservations for 2021 are up 40% from 2019, with people eager to enjoy a holiday again. After the crisis eases up, we can expect to see strict health screenings on board all cruise ships, no buffets and more crew-manned serving stations for dining, and investment in more modern technologies, such as sterilization robots. These increased investments in hygiene equipment will be too expensive for some lines, meaning that, sadly, there could be some business closures within the cruise ship industry.
These are our perceptions of how covid19 will change shipping. Not all is doom and gloom though, as a new seasons starts for all industries around the world. We look forward to seeing some exciting changes and developments in the shipping industry as the world begins to return to what will be a new normal for us all!