Business, Freight News, Logistics, Sea

Container transport: the next 25 years

[ June 6, 2018   //   ]

Freight transport insurer TT Club has published a report summarising the thoughts of industry leaders on what the future holds for the container industry over the next 25 years to mark its 50th anniversary.

Published in conjunction with global management consulting firm McKinsey, ‘Brave new world? – Container transport in 2043’, interviewed over 30 industry leaders and experts from a wide cross section of the industry. These included Board Members of TT Club, but importantly other supply chain professionals, financial intermediaries, law firms, and disruptors and innovators.

The report concludes that the physical characteristics of the industry are unlikely to change, as the container and the ships that carry them will still exist over the next 25 years. However, trade flows will become more balanced across as incomes converge between East Asia and developed economies, and the emerging economies in South Asia and Africa catch up.

Automation will be broadly adopted, especially on the landside in ports, terminals, rail and trucking. Digital, data, and analytics will cause a fundamental and customers will expect a high level of reliability, transparency and user-friendliness

The industry leaders in 2043 will look very different; some will consolidate, others may change their business model. Some will be “digital natives”, either start-ups or e-commerce players optimising the container transport leg of their supply chain.

TT Club chief executive officer, Charles Fenton, said: “We believe the container transport industry will face challenges as technology changes the environment, but we are confident that an industry that has shown itself adept at change will rise to meet these challenges.

“The container’s simplicity and modularity has made it the mode of choice for transporting many goods across the globe. This examination of the wisdom and perceptiveness of the industry’s opinion formers is, we believe, relevant in exploring how such strengths will develop the container transport environment by 2043.”

McKinsey senior partner, Martin Joerss, added: “More than 50 years after the introduction of the container, the container transport industry faces the transformative rise of digital, data, analytics, and automation. There is a range of futures where digital fundamentally changes the industry’s economics – for the benefit of both customers and industry participants – but getting there will require vision and relentless execution.”

For further details, including a full transcript of the report visit: