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What’s driving the shipping industry’s massive transformation?

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Community Manager

Digitalization is the key to the future of the shipping industry. In a world where 9 out of 10 products are transported via merchant shipping, these companies are being forced to rethink how they view and operate an $180 billion piece of global commerce, and how new technologies like digitalization can help optimize that process.

The downside to this enormous transport of goods and services is carbon emissions. Collectively, commercial ships annually produce 930 million tons of CO2 emissions – two and a half times greater than countries like the United Kingdom.


The International Maritime Organization, which regulates shipping, is striving to significantly reduce these emissions and cut them in half by 2050; by 2025, new ships entering service need to be 30 percent more efficient in reducing carbon emissions.

Digital breakthroughs via digitalization are providing the shipping industry tools to make the necessary changes so they can meet these challenges with innovative propulsion systems, by retrofitting current systems and including traceability functions about the goods transport to highlight areas that aren’t as sustainable as they could be.


Moreover, digital twin technology is supporting the building of greener ships faster and more economically, as well as optimizing them earlier in the design process.

Watch this video to learn more about the changes the shipping industry is facing and its innovations.



About the author
Blake Snodgrass is a writer for the Thought Leadership team in Siemens PLM Software, which supports several venues, including the Thought Leadership blog for the company. He speaks with experts in their field who provide compelling insight into innovative technologies affecting industries and how this can impact the future. Blake has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and more than 25 years of experience working for IT companies, with roles in technical writing, marketing communications, user-experience design and content development.