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Table 2 Drivers of Shipping Digitalization vis-à-vis Digital Transformation Rational

From: Shipping digitalization management: conceptualization, typology and antecedents

Digitalization DriversDigital Transformation Logic
Process improvementsSmart shipping systems automate via self-management properties the planning, and actual operation of technical, commercial and support functions of shipping. Main perceived advantages are further improvement related with safety, and shippers and business partners’ process synchronization. Respective digital solutions are: condition-based ship systems monitoring, self-adjustment of ship operations and real time cargo monitoring.
Autonomous ship technologies and functions, such as autonomous navigation, collision avoidance and berthing functions will further improve safety and business performance. Complex or risk entailing activities can be performed by autonomous vessels and automated ports infrastructures.
Cost EfficiencyDigitalization improves cost–efficiency in terms of a number of digital solutions: more accurate energy (fuel) consumption monitoring, emissions monitoring, crew cost optimization, digital twin platforms for integrated ship design and operation, predictive maintenance and safer ship operations with various levels of autonomy, also cargo monitoring.
Customer and Business Partners ExpectationsThe traceability of freight throughout the shipping and maritime transport process, aligned with the whole supply chain and production processes is essential for the quality levels demanded by end customers. Shipping business is gradually aligning with this business model enabled by digitalization.
Data Monetization ModelsNew business models arise form datafication. Based on historical, real time, big and small data sets and advances in database, cloud and visualization technology but foremost computational techniques, maritime organizations may develop data platforms and data analytics based services and solutions to satisfy old and new strategic objectives and business models.
Radical Innovations(i) Autonomous ships and (ii) blockchains are two radical innovations for the shipping industry. New knowledge, new market structures but also new sources of value are designed, tested and appropriated by competent actors. Incumbent, leading companies are involved in “edge exploration” in both these radical innovation fronts to secure an early mover position and control/leverage related markets.
Market pressureCompetitors already use digital shipping technologies. It is imperative to secure a competitive advantage with digital technology and not lag behind the market standards.
Innovation PushInnovative digital shipping systems create a dominant technology push force, and market competition, both enabling digital transformation. Shipping companies and maritime organizations recursively determine the particular models and practices to generate value.
InstitutionsIndustry associations, regulatory and standards organizations and related industry institutions play a role in setting norms, business and technical standards of digitalization, acting as exogenous factors.