An inspiring message was sent out at the recent Connecticut Maritime Association conference, change is the watchword. The president of CMA, Joseph D Gross stated that "You are here to capitalize on a changing industry." This is an interesting statement, and it is true, especially when you look at how Uber changed the taxi industry by introducing a cheaper business model called ridesharing.
Think like Uber is the heading here, as Christopher Rex, Danish Ship Finance head of research stated over the podium that "The shipping industry needs to leverage its expertise. The shipping industry needs to leverage its data." Rex went on to use BMW as an example of a company that adopted change and made it their main stay for continuous performance improvement. He then compared BMW to Nokia, the mobile phone company that decided to disregard the iPhone technology and remained with text phones, which led it its closure.
Rex told the conference attendees that the shipping industry has to study Uber and learn to adapt, otherwise they will become like Uber drivers, earning small income while performing the same job they are doing. Someone else will step in and create an Uber like transportation app for shipping. It is time that the shipping industry started to change their approach or become commoditized and poor like Uber drivers.
My take on this is that he is right, Uber drivers are not rich, most are seeking extra means of income and they are definitely not shipping companies. I also see how Uber Freight and Brazils CargoX are changing how road transportation is evolving, add to this IBM and Maersk's Bloch chain initiative and you are seeing how the shipping industry is moving towards Uberization.