5 Technologies that are Helping Shape the Future of Freight Shipping

freight shipping

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Technology innovations bring canes to the eerie industry. The shipping industry invests in sophisticated technology to make the process more efficient. Freight shipping is an integral part of the supply chain and is responsible for moving the global economy forward. Which technologies shape the future of shipping? Which job opportunities do they create? Let’s find out!




Robotics is accepted in various industries to improve efficiency and enhance safety. In the shipbuilding industry, automated robots replace dangerous jobs such as welding. In addition, the shortage of skilled workers has made business owners more open to implementing automation. Robots can take over the hazardous tasks in shipbuilding and perform them with high precision without compromising safety. Robots are also used in packaging and sorting goods to speed up the process.


Green technology

Being environmentally friendly is another aspect that companies focus on. The industry works hard to increase efficiency while reducing environmental impact. Using alternative fuels is adopted as a practice to reduce emissions and cut down costs. LNG is one of the alternative fuel options for ships that minimize pollution. In addition, it is a cheaper option than diesel, significantly reducing transportation costs. Experts research the ballast-free ship design to see if this concept will solve the water disposal problem.

As sustainability is a trend in every industry, the interest in renewable energy in shipping is growing. Many renewable energy technologies are still in their development phase. However, three proven options reduce the emissions.

  • Wind turbines are a source of renewable energy. These have giant sails which generate power thanks to the movement of the wind. 
  • Solar panels transform the sun’s rays and heat into energy, which powers the boarding systems of the ships. M/V Auriga Leader is the first ocean liner partially powered by solar panels, with 328 panels.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells are another renewable alternative for ships. A chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen generates energy. 

As for the technologies with vast potential, tidal power generators are one of the options, the motion of the waves can provide energy for the ship to work. 


Autonomous shipping vehicles

Self-driving vehicles are trending in the shipping industry but will continue to develop in the future. Right now, the vehicles achieve a low level of autonomy. Autonomous cars, trucks, and ships are the future of shipping with the intention to streamline the process and reduce labor costs. However, the vehicles still need human input at this point of development. Autonomous technology helps the driver and overtakes some tasks while letting them be in control. Drivers can rest assured that their job won’t disappear anytime soon. Instead, they should be happy to get automated assistance to make their job easier. 

Kongsberg Group is a company that develops technology for merchant marine and other industries. They announced the development of the first fully automated vehicle for ground operations. Automated cargo ships will change how the industry operates.

Autonomous ships will change how the ocean transportation industry works. The vessels can operate without human input, which reduces operational costs and improves safety. The system can detect the possibility of a collision and help avoid it. Also, the routes are optimized, which results in shorter delivery times. The Autonomous ships rely on algorithms, cameras, and sensors to navigate, which also optimizes fuel use.


Blockchain technology

Blockchain is a digital technology that handles safe transactions online. The transactions are made in cryptocurrency and are noted publicly. The transparent approach allows all the transactions to be visible in the network. This technology provides easy data analysis, allowing the information to be shared with other companies. The shipping industry uses these advantages to manage shipping transactions. This makes the shipping process more transparent and efficient.

The benefits of blockchain technology are seen in the maritime industry. The decentralized digital ledger provides secure transactions. Blockchain revolutionizes operations when applicable in vessel registration, supply chain management, and tracking. The goal is to enhance security, visibility, efficiency, and transparency. 

Blockchain technology can track the ship’s location, which enhances safety and prevents fraud. The blockchain platforms can also host contracts, which helps automate the working process. 



Drones are trending for recreational use. However, many shipping companies take advantage of them to streamline the process. Amazon is one of the big names in the industry that invests in this technology to enhance safety and efficacy. 

Businesses in the shipping industry are looking for ways to implement drone technology into their process. Drones are considered an ideal method for inspection and surveillance. Also, they are beneficial for taking photos and mapping. But drones can also help with emergency services. 


Data and analytics

The supply chain gathers significant data that can be used to make decisions. The information is crucial for predicting market trends, demand, and patterns. The data analysis provides valuable insights into the market dynamics, allowing companies to predict the demand. Also, transportation companies can optimize the sailing routes to minimize emissions, contributing to sustainability. This approach also helps decrease the fuel consumption, reducing the costs.


Internet of things

Modern trucks and vessels have advanced sensors that monitor every aspect. They transmit data such as location, function, and speed using dedicated software. This information allows companies to track their shipments, which is crucial for planning port operations. The theology is supported by satellite observation and GPS for precision. 

Despite helping organize operations and predict delays, the Internet of Things also helps with predictive maintenance. The system uses a combination of historical and real-time data to detect any potential issues. With this, the response time is reduced, and companies can take action on time while avoiding costly repairs. 


Advanced monitoring system

These modern systems track important accurate data metrics such as vessel traffic, weather patterns, and air and water quality. The complex systems rely on sensors and satellites to collect and process environmental data. The advanced monitoring systems will create detailed maps and models, which help detect any dangers or emergencies. The theology is beneficial for protecting ecosystems and reducing pollution. In the case of an environmental disaster, this system helps reduce clean-up costs.




AI is making its way into every industry, helping in different aspects. In the maritime sector, artificial intelligence helps estimate vessels’ arrival time, measure underwater noise, and monitor water and air quality. 

With Big Data, IoT, 5G, and blockchain, AI has a strong potential to drive the move to small ports. Many important worldwide ports such as Singapore, Los Angeles, Hamburg, and Shanghai show how different technologies merge to improve efficiency and sustainability. 



The pandemic imposed mobile working, so businesses needed to adjust to this change. Cloud-based systems allow companies and employees to remain available on any connected device. The technology fosters communication and enhanced flexibility, which was needed in the given circumstances. 

In the transportation industry, timely communication and real-time data sharing are crucial. The industry depends on cloud-based technologies for streamlined communication and managing fleets on a remote basis. The tools enable communication between the team on the shore and the team on the vessel. Having Instant access to real-time data helps the decision-making process. 


3D printing

3D printing helps turn digital designs into tangible objects that find implementation in the maritime industry. The technology creates equipment and spare parts directly on the ship when needed. sD printers can create complex vessel parts that can be replicated with any other manufacturing technology. 

With this, companies don’t need to wait long for the parts to arrive. Having the spare parts available shortens the maintenance time. It is important to note that it also prevents interruptions in operations, as vessel immobilization is costly. 


How technology benefits the shipping industry

Technology helps meet the market demand for cheaper and faster service. It helps streamline the working operations, which enhances efficiency. Modern innovations also reduce fuel consumption and emissions and reduce delivery delays. In terms of communication, they help establish relationships between businesses and customers, which increases customer satisfaction. 

The technologies are applicable in the decision-making process. The critical data is processed and used to make data-driven decisions. This supports the efficient use of resources and saves time by eliminating minor manual tasks.

However, the process of implementing new technologies can be lengthy and expensive. Therefore, small and medium companies might not have enough power to acquire the innovations.



Final take

Knowing that technology rapidly changes, the shipping industry will differ in a decade. The shipping industry is ahead of challenges as consumers want to receive goods quickly and with lower costs. Experts in the industry are trying to find new ways to use modern technology to streamline the delivery process. Drones, robots, and autonomous vehicles will find various implementations, including safer operations. Minimum-impact fuels will enhance the environment-friendly aspect. Blockchain technology allows easy access to information and analysis.

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