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            february 18, 2019

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Joint TT Club and McKinsey report concludes boxes face digital future


Digitally enabled shipping, which can directly control the flow of goods from factory to consumer, will become progressively more influential, warns a joint TT Club & McKinsey report.
Industry experts see the possibility of traditional supply chain service providers being significantly challenged over the next 25 years, said the report.
"Digital reinvention is just one of four potential scenarios that our report envisages. Its in-depth challenge to our perceptions of the future is well worth close consideration," said TT Club CEO Charles Fenton.
Fast-moving newcomers assuming an integrator role could transform and re-shape the container transport industry," said the report from the American research house the British marine underwriters.
In their "Brave new world? - Container transport in 2043" report, leading international freight transport insurer TT Club, in conjunction with global management consulting firm McKinsey, have looked at the future of containerised trade, how value can be created and who the "winners" could be within the industry by 2043.
The report saw six sources of value creation: 1) economies of scale, 2) flexibility, 3) supply reliability, 4) consolidation, 5) automation and 6) environmentalism.
The exceptional expansion in ship sizes has reverberated through the rest of the supply chain. A key question for the future is the extent to which customers prefer lower unit costs or greater flexibility.
Flexibility - Do customers value faster, more direct services? If so, scale would be deprioritised in favour of flexibility and modularity.
Reliability and predictability - The other side of the flexibility coin, as e-commerce changes consumer expectations, driving improved cycle-times and transparency.
Consolidation - So far seen in limited segments of the industry, which is still fragmented compared to some comparable industries and with potential of optimisation through vertical integration.
Automation and productivity hold the potential to improve reliability and service levels, while reducing structural cost.
Environmental performance - Responding to the challenges relating to fuel and emissions but also the growing societal sensitivities towards protection of the environment.
"Digital, data and analytics have indeed become the fundamental driver of value creation" said the report. "Players with significant asset footprints lead the way, with proprietary data that allows them to out-compete any potential disruptive entrant.
"Data and technologies like blockchain are used in creative ways and many digital native suppliers of software and analytical solutions thrive," it said.

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