Technology That Makes Shipping Easier

Shipping is an industry where changes are often slow to happen, but there has been quite a buzz in the technology industry in recent months that includes new products that make shipping easier.   

Just as technology has seemingly made many business sectors work more smoothly, it is also working to make the shipping industry work a little smoother, more user-friendly and quickly for those who want to have efficient shipping choices available when they need them.   

Technology that makes shipping easier has already begun to impact the shipping industry, and here are some of the biggest contenders to helping make improvements overall. Let’s check out some of the best technology used in shipping today.  


Automated ships are on the horizon now that we have automated cars from companies like Google and GM and others. Now we also have an automated cargo ship from Norway.   

The Norwegian Yara Birkeland is expected to launch this year fully equipped with radar, GPS, cameras and traffic sensors to be able to navigate the waters as well as safely dock. This year it is being tested with manual operators but beginning in 2019, it is expected to launch fully automated by the year 2020.   

Companies that work on land side by side with the maritime industry for shipping such as A-1 Auto Transport, an auto transport company based in California, have been working with environmentally friendly technology for the trucking industry as well as checking into advancements with automation for trucking and transport via land transport.   

Automated trucks can benefit the world atmosphere by better fuel efficiency through continuous travel and quicker delivery times.   


With the growth of digital currency in the last five years, blockchain technology, a ledger for transactions made with bitcoin and other digital currencies will help develop a struggling shipping industry as it moves products and other material from one port to the next.   

Blockchain technology can help ensure transactions are safe as this technology reduces the number of people who need to be involved in payments for services and with fewer people, theft, and mistakes can be lowered.   

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet is used in every industry out there today for collecting and sending data, processing paperwork and information and now it is helping shippers track containers, monitor shipping in real time and monitoring onboard machinery and equipment.   

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Algorithms can be used to show a ships computer where it would normally run into issues and with artificial intelligence, the ships computer is able to identify and correct issues before they become problems.   

AI can also be used to guide camera and security systems and can even be used for voice recognition for humans who need to enter specific areas or have the computer system handle various maintenance updates and other shipping procedures from the computer.   


Drones have been growing in popularity over the last few years and have gone from toys seen at the park to truly valuable resources for many industries. In real estate for example, home inspectors often use drones to survey roof tops and land perimeters without the need to physically climb a ladder or walk the property.   

In the shipping industry, drones are beginning to emerge this year as an alternative mode of conducting surveys on ships, especially in areas where it is not easy for a human being to crawl or climb to survey. They can also be used to check for off-shore structures and obstacles when the ship is at sea.   

For delivery, drones are already in use for companies such as Amazon and UPS, and now they can be used to deliver packages to ships near the coast without a need for the ship to dock. This will allow for much faster delivery times for many products. Wilhelmsen has announced they will begin using drone delivery to deliver packages to other ships and handle inspections this year.   

The list could go on and on as just within the last year, great strides have been made in the technology sector and with the entrance of new technology, many things will inevitably be adapted into the shipping industry. While some technology is still in its beginning stages, much has already been pushed into the shipping industry and has been in use.   

Now we just need to sit back and see which tech will work best for the industry, which will be depleted and what new products are on the horizon that will help shape and grow the shipping business bigger and better than ever. 


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