The shipping industry has experienced its fair share of problems and innovations in recent times. The pandemic has exposed the fragility of the supply chain. Retailers have had to pivot to tackle the current supply chain challenges and increased shipping delays, shifting to air freight prices or paying high prices to ship cargo.
This article talks about some of the ways shippers and carriers deal with the current shipping challenges in many aspects.
Crew Shortages/Labour Issues
Shippers no longer have to worry about the dangers of scurvy. Scurvy was responsible for more deaths at sea than storms, shipwrecks, combat, and all other diseases combined. The discovery of Vitamin C has led to great advances in the shipping industry. Sailors can now stock on Vitamin C-rich products, such as lemons and oranges, and avoid the deadly disease. We can see a growing number of crew members looking for a job in the sea as they are not afraid for their health anymore.
Shipping vessels are now being built with metal, gone are the days when ships could not wither the rough conditions of the ocean. Ships also do not rely simply on the wind to guide their ships. The invention of engines has been a huge game-changer in the industry. Cargo vessels can now travel as fast as 33 knots (61 km/h). Retailers no longer have to wait years for their shipment to arrive. For some people this change is unbelievable but this disruptive step of progress shows us how things may improve if we apply new technologies to something that we used to see for centuries.
The invention of containers
Port workers can also rejoice, the container has cut the time taken to load cargo from days to hours. These revolutionary metal containers come in various sizes most popular being the 20’ and the 40’. Some experts predict problems with storing these containers in the future, as they may occupy a vast area in ports with growing demand.
Navigation and tracking
Ships can now communicate with each other and also ports using radio to give the latest updates using Morse code. Shippers can finally stop dropping messages in bottles, which has led to increased pollution and various fish getting stuck in them. We still have some complexity in navigational systems with sextants but the latest rumors tell us that some scientists working on a huge project of the thing that they call a ‘satellite’. It’s going to be sent to space and eventually allow navigation for the vessels by themselves. We got several conversations with industry experts and they are sceptical about it as don’t see how it’s going to work on a cloudy day and how they are going to deliver it to the space. So they recommend keeping something proven by years on the captain’s bridge to be prepared for the situation if the stars don’t align.
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