McKinsey Says Container Shipping Should Digitize

McKinsey & Company predicts the future of container shipping 50 years from now:
• Autonomous 50,000-TEU ships, perhaps alongside modular, drone-like floating containers.
• Short-haul intra-regional traffic will increase.
• Container flows within the Far East will remain huge, and the second-most significant trade lane may link to Africa, with a stopover in South Asia.
• Three or four major container-shipping companies might emerge.
• Freight forwarding will be virtually extinct, since digital interactions will reduce the need for intermediaries.
• All winners will have fully digitized customer interactions and operating systems.
• A fully autonomous transport chain will extend from loading, stowage, and sailing to unloading directly onto autonomous trains and trucks, with last-mile deliveries by drones.

Some customers, prepared to pay a premium, will want container-logistics providers fully integrated into their supply chains. Others will continue to demand the cheapest sea freight.