Analysis: Fourth Industrial Revolution will disrupt shipping

“One technology that is starting to change production is 3-D printing. 3-D printing enables not only totally new designs but also manufacture-to-order in a new way.”

Wolfgang Lehmacher, head of supply chain and transport industry, World Economic Forum, outlined six trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that are disrupting the Shipping Industry at the JOC’s TPM Asia conference in Shenzhen.

SHENZHEN — Disruption is unavoidable for container shipping as multiple technologies converge with unprecedented speed, requiring a complete revision of strategies to deal with the opportunities and threats facing the transport industry.

In a keynote address to TPM Asia in Shenzhen, Wolfgang Lehmacher, head of supply chain and transport industry at the World Economic Forum, described six trends caused by what is known as the Forth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that is disrupting world shipping.

“The world will significantly change,” he said. “The shipping industry has been impacted by the previous industrial revolutions: It moved from sail-powered shipping to steam-powered shipping in the First Industrial Revolution, to oil-powered shipping in the Second, to satellite guided navigation and digital transport in the Third. The [4IR] is expected to bring to the sector networks of autonomous vehicles.”

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