Shipowners today are a more sophisticated breed than their predecessors. They have to be part banker, part politician, part economist and have an MBA before they even consider starting out. The shipowner of tomorrow will need to be a different species entirely.
The twin tectonic shifts of digitalisation and decarbonisation will require the next generation of shipping leaders to rewrite the rulebook and redesign many aspects of global maritime supply chain.
Change is already afoot. The industry was at a pivotal point long before Brexit and Covid came along. There is a huge lack of capital for the Industry at a time when it faces the challenges of decarbonisation, a test that the human race cannot afford to fail, and disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and autonomous shipping, which will not only change the way we work and run our business but will change the way that we live.
ESG-fuelled capital requirements increasingly favouring the stability, consolidation and corporatisation of long-term cargo interest integration in shipping models. The natural conclusion of which will increasingly challenge mid-sized, private entities that have dominated shipping’s fragmented business models for much of the last century. The power balance in the industry has shifted in favour of cargo interests who require transparency and data-driven metrics to fuel what is becoming a digitally integrated and fully optimised global supply chain.
The pace of change is accelerating, and agility is favoured over tradition. So what does the shipping company of tomorrow look like and what are the qualities shipping requires from those aspiring to lead us through what promises to be a revolutionary epoch shift in business models, regulation, technology and the entire competitive landscape for maritime businesses?
The culmination of Lloyd’s List Future of Shipping series will describe the ideal leadership team required to create an imagined shipping company able to not just survive the transition but thrive in a post-2050 environment. Via a series of interviews and discussions with today’s industry leaders, aspiring disrupters and revolutionaries, we will build a boardroom fit for the future and examine what those qualities imply for the companies of today hoping to survive the transition.
We will describe what the C-Suite of our imagined flagship company will be dealing with and create an imagined shipping company of the future built from the best ideas available today.