Topical Lecture 1: Smart Shipping — the Next Sea Transport Revolution

Author: Dr Martin Stopford

This lecture introduces SMART Shipping — shipping’s fourth revolution.  The lecture starts with a short video which provides an introduction and overview.  In this video Martin Stopford speculates about how recent advances information and communications technology (ICT) will provide the catalyst for a management revolution in shipping.

This short lecture uses historical analysis of past shipping revolutions like containerisation, to provide a framework for describing the changes in managing sea transport which have been made viable by the ICT revolution.  Autonomous ships will play a part in this revolution but Dr Stopford argues that exploiting the ICT revolution will call for a new and very different business model.

Combining the new technical "toolbox" with a new business model built around integrated logistics provides the basis for a vision of how the industry might look in 2056.  The timescale to 2056 fits with the timescale of the steam revolution in the 19th century and container technology in the 20th century (the period from the first viable service to a mature industry-wide system).

The two introductory videos provide an overview of the whole lecture, and the other videos develop the theme.  In addition to the videos there is a full-length paper of approximately 15,000 words which sets out Martin Stopford's thoughts in more detail, and provides references and glossaries etc. There is also a set of 30 slides which Dr Stopford uses in his Smart Shipping lecture. 

Unit 1: Shipping's three revolutions 1496-2016

The lecture starts with a historical perspective on the three shipping revolutions over the last 500 years.  … More

Unit 2: The sea transport industry's performance problem

Every revolution needs a driving force, and this unit looks at the problems the sea transport industry faces … More

Unit 3: The next sea transport revolution

This unit focuses on why recent developments in digital technology offer a revolutionary new way of … More

Unit 4: The Smart Shipping "Toolbox"

Next we look in more detail at the ICT technology and the ways it might be used to improve performance.  The … More

Unit 5: The Smart Ship (possibly autonomous)

The starting point for the ship is to define the operating systems and to use this as a framework for … More

Unit 6: Smart fleet management strategies

Smart shipping is not just about ships.  An important focus is on how a fleet of ships can be made more … More

Unit 7: Smart global logistics

We must not overlook a vital part of the ICT revolution: the opportunity this will offer to integrate … More

Unit 8: Managing the transition to smart shipping

Finally we have to think about how to manage this dramatic change.  Anyone who has been involved with IT knows … More
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