TRANSPORTS and shipping operators need to prepare for a future of minimal interaction between humans and freight, a conference has heard.

Speaking at the AntwerpXL 2019 conference, WSP service line director Roy van Eijsen told a session on breakbulk, ro-ro and heavy lift that technology was playing a huge role.

“We need to recognise that eventually no person will touch the product at any point,” Mr van Eijsen said.

“We need to be thinking about that overall picture rather than individual technologies such as blockchain – although these are important.” 

Speaking about data sharing, Mr van Eijsen predicted 80-90% of data would be publicly available.


“Even if people resist sharing, it will be available by other means,” he said.

“Data will become a commodity. The competitive edge will come from being able to process and do something with that data quicker.  The mindset of holding onto your data will actually hold you back.”

Caterpillar transportation manager Nataliya Maiseyenka said technology was an opportunity.

“Sharing data will help improve efficiency and save costs,” Ms Maiseyenka said.

“At the moment the customer wants a red carpet service but doesn’t want to pay a red carpet price.

“Technology is the answer to this. We should be embracing it.”