It has been long since the shipping industry is trying its best towards improving its prospects in the coming years, which involves the constant battle against the odds like the unpredictable economic and geopolitical scenarios. iContainers is a well-established, online freight forwarder from Barcelona and it has expresses its opinion that the maritime industry will be definitely experiencing a greater impact of automation in 2019. The digital forwarder is confident of the fact that automation will play a major role in the days to come, even though it is introduced on a smaller scale.
The Vice President of iContainers, Mr Klaus Lysdal, has echoed this thought as he is sure that the world is yet to experience a full-fledged influence of automation in this year. Mr Lysdal feels that this influence can be identified by the ways the individual companies have decided to incorporate the concept of automation in their processes. With the passage of time, the small changes in the chain will become more noticeable and will eventually cause a stronger impact across the globe. Though the maritime industry is undergoing a period of unrest and uncertainty due to the burning issues of the IMO 2020, Brexit and the US-China trade war.
No matter how intense or widespread the impact is, it is for certain that automation will make its presence felt, valued and applied to the carriers, truckers, terminals, forwarders, and last but not least, warehouses. According to iContainers, the application of automation can be hindered owing to the inevitable outcomes of the continuing US-China trade war along with Brexit, which are supposed to come to terms with significant deadlines in the first quarter of 2019. Also, these raging problems are showing no positive signs of getting resolved anytime soon in the near future.
So far, the ongoing US-China trade war has resulted in an approximate sum of US $400 billion being placed on the goods, which has unfortunately caused the international organizations to issue warnings against the state and has also questioned the performance of the global economy in the days to come. As we are aware of, both the countries (US and China) had declared a 90 ceasefire at the G20 Summit in Argentina, which highlighted the promise of not introducing any more fresh tariffs until the trade talks were sorted out. The ceasefire was supposed to expire on 1st March and it is certain that 10-25% duties will be placed on $200 billion worth of goods on the pre-decided condition that there have been no trade deals. Mr Lysdal is quite sure that the maritime world will be observing the trade war and deriving conclusions from it, on a regular basis. The reason behind is that the two nations (China and the US) are the biggest trade partners in the entire world and can yield the power of exerting their influence on the global shipping capacity. Though many US countries had faced some problems when the first round of tariffs was introduced, it is hoped that they will recover from the initial hurdles due to an act of mitigation.
Coming to the case of Brexit, there is no sign of a withdrawal agreement yet between Britain and the EU and it is all set to become effective from 29th March. Moreover, the shipping companies, carriers and port authorities, are trying their best to cope up with the new regulations on sulphur emissions by experimenting with innovative methods of complying to the upcoming rules. Mr Lysdal has voiced his opinion that 2019 is going to be something of a transition year that will allow the maritime industry to adjust to the new changes and prepare to meet the IMO 2020 regulations in due time. Till date, it seems like all the shipping carriers are trying to follow the same pattern in adapting to the new rules, instead of opting out for a variety of approaches.