Still Time to Catch Tech Train

Forwarders Must be 'ready for a rethink of process'

By Carly Fields
Technology is an opportunity and a tool that project cargo freight forwarders can and should harness, according to a panel at Breakbulk Europe.
And it’s not too late to take advantage of the benefits technology offers, as long as forwarders are open-minded and “ready for a rethink of process,” said Kaleido Logistics CEO Xoan Martinez.
“Saying that you will die if you are not already working with artificial intelligence is not true,” he said. “We must try, try, try. The point is to learn and be ready.”
Fellow panelist Stefano Repetto, head of projects at Fracht Italia, pointed out opportunities for the project cargo business if project forwarders keep pace with technological advances.
“In the future, I see a discrepancy between project cargo work with dedicated personnel focused on the job and the general cargo market with non-specialized individuals. This is a big opportunity for the market.”
During a discussion on the uniqueness of a Dutch online bid for a recent project, Leif Arne Strommen, vice president of innovation at G2 Ocean, suggested that AI be introduced for pricing of projects, taking the human out of the equation.
He added that blockchain could be useful for charter party agreements, despite a lack of standards between engineering, procurement and construction companies. He also questioned why there is still a need for invoicing for projects. “We should just be paid when the project has been completed,” he said. “We as an industry need to challenge our customers, come up with new ideas.”