Cargo containers are used to transport billions of goods via cargo ships. We take a quick tour of how container transport would evolve in years to come.
Changing climatic conditions and environmental degradation may become a major factor to modify the world of container transport. Due to these concerns, maritime industry needs to find ways to increase efficiency, cut down carbon footprint, and participate in environmental protection. Majority cargo is transported via container ships, however, worsening of climate has led to major shifts in the shipping industry, putting the future of the cargo container in limbo.
As per the shipping experts, cargo containers still remain as the most environment-friendly way of transporting goods. Container transportation has considerably reduced the cost of shipping goods and produce by reducing handling costs, as well as by cutting-down breakage and pilferage.
Political and Economic Swings
On the other hand, the International trade experts believe that trade will still continue, or even flourish, regardless political shifts and troubles, for example Brexit or any ongoing battle over tariffs, including Ukraine – Russia war.
Global trade is growing, leading to a natural expectation of use of shipping containers for transportation growth. However, some shipping experts are beginning to debate if our world has already reached the peak of globalization, and whether trade patterns are expected to change in 50 – 100 years due to increasing environmental regulations.
Mostly lack of data sharing leads to wastage of around $20 billion every year in container supply chains.
Some industry observers also say that digitalization could possibly cause a potential reduction in global trade, due to the increase in use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots in manufacturing and logistics could make businesses less likely to produce goods in low-cost labour countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam or China, and instead produce goods locally, and make it closer to consumer.
Maritime industry will be forced to de-carbonize due to climate, change, greenhouse gases and ever-increasing pollution leading shipping vessels to use new, and cleaner, fuel sources.
The newer fuels will likely be costlier as more pressure is put on manufacturers, container transport companies to optimize supply chains. This could potentially slow global growth in the long-haul international container traffic and lead to faster growth in regional trade.
So, what types of fuel would be used to power the container ships of the future? or in the next few years? It would likely be solar and wind power. The likeliest application for this technology in commercial shipping would be in systems that reduce fuel consumption by supplementing the ship’s existing power supply with on-board solar panels or wind turbines.