21 keynotes, 80 nations, more than 300 attendees and 1200 personal meetings – these are just a few figures from Digital Container Summit 2020. On September 3rd, Container xChange successfully hosted the only industry-wide networking opportunity of this year. The event was created and held fully digitally. 

Attending company representatives held pre-scheduled personal video meetings with other forwarders, shipping lines, container traders and service providers such as Kuehne+Nagel, Seaco, Flexport and many more.

But most importantly, the DCS 2020 brought together industry experts and opinion leaders. Guests had the opportunity to attend their keynote sessions and virtual workshops. These sessions were live-streamed with an interactive chat, where everyone could ask questions on the current topics being discussed. 

Some of the most popular talks revolved around the industry challenges and opportunities post-COVID; As well as advantages of digital optimization and big data in logistics. 

Lucky for those who missed on keynote live-streams, the recordings are now available for viewing. They are only one click away. 👇 

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The pandemic is less critical for container shipping than expected 

In his webinar, CEO of SeaIntelligence Consulting, Lars Jensen discussed the pandemic related changes to container shipping that might become permanent. Jensen acknowledged the current disruptions, such as sharp demand decline, shipping equipment disbalances, idling of vessels and massive blank sailings, etc. However, despite these, he stays positive regarding the impact that Covid-19 might have on the shipping industry. 

“What was expected to be a crisis, turned out to be a non-issue for the industry,” – Jensen reckons. As the current data suggests, carriers are back on track for higher profitability. They are expected to get a greater profit in 2020 than in 2019 – despite different scenarios of how the future might fold.

The pandemic apparently also showed where manual work is still vital. According to Jensen, this is going to help the discussions regarding the digitalization of the industry clear up the aspects of workflow that can’t be, or are still in need of automation. 

Lars Jensen believes, these are not new developments – “they simply have been accelerated by the pandemic.” Click on a banner below and learn more about the post-COVID predictions.

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COVID speeds up the digitalization 

And as Thomas Bagge told us, “collaboration on the standardized approach to digitalization is the only way” in the future. The CEO of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for the digitization of container shipping processes and documents. 

According to a recent survey, which Thomas Bagge referred to in his talk, digitized companies within the same industry are 8 times more profitable than the ones which are not. But as Bagge says, before the technologies take over, it is vital that all members of the industry adopt the same approach to it.

“Before we start deploying those technologies, we need to start talking the same language, using the same vocabulary; and that’s where the data and digital solutions play a role,” – says Bagge.

He believes that once the process of standardization takes off, new business models will emerge. Smarter and standardized processes, especially in dealing with documentations across countries, will improve the customer experience, and therefore, drive the industry.

He also emphasized the importance of personal communication in building trust inside the shipping industry: “We put too much focus on digital tools and what really matters is personal communication and relations.”

Find more reasoning and information on the digitization processes in Thomas Bagge’s webinar, by clicking the banner below. 

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Hapag-Lloyd’s way of engaging with the customer 

Dr Ralf Belusa from Hapag-Lloyd shared his insights on programmatic advertising and the benefits of using objectives and key results (OKRs) in business planning. During the keynote, he was joined by his colleagues, who also shared their perspectives on the subject. 

What are the questions you should be asking yourself as a company before you engage with your customer? Do you have an answer to what your customers are doing every day at 9 am? And is knowing it beneficial for you to shape up better services and products? According to Dr Belusa, being curious and asking relevant questions is what leads to valuable insights. It helps companies successfully employ programmatic advertising in their business. 

However, finding the right marketing mix for attracting the customer, varies from company to company. There are no set rules, but data and a thousand ways to interpret and adopt it.

Dr Belusa also offered a view inside the company’s planning processes. According to him, setting clear definitions behind agility and efficiency is important; As well as having realistic expectations. After planning and trial “you need from 6 to 12 months to have a stable foundation” and tight cooperation, alongside transparency across departments.

As Dr Ralf Belusa concluded, a positive growth mindset is a prerequisite for everything, after all. Click below, listen to the webinar and learn from one of the industry’s leading companies, how to plan more efficiently. 

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What freight industry can learn from fidget spinners

Do you think introducing a couple of digital solutions into your freight business will guarantee its success? The CMO at Freightos, Eytan Buchman doesn’t quite agree. 

Eytan Buchman suggests that every modern company – including ones inside the freight industry, are data companies, as well as customer service organizations. And the main objective for the companies should be finding the better use of the data that are already in their hands. Sounds not so complicated? Well, it is. 

To highlight how the commercial world is changing through time, he pointed out the example of fidget spinners that become hugely popular a few years back. They were available for purchase on every online shop, but not the big ones such as Toys R Us. Which as Buchman believes, showed how big companies are taking more time to digitalize their process.

“Suddenly a smaller company, or a large company which can move data around better: knows how to go online, source, sell and ship things and manage their customers online with data-driven processes, can outmanoeuvre huge beasts like Toys R Us. And we all know how that story ends: smaller sellers joining Amazon and Toys R Us filing for bankruptcy.” 

So, the freight industry also acknowledged they had to go online. Nowadays, more and more companies are offering online services. But the expectation, “if you have a website, customers will come and order from you” is not realistic. Because those digital solutions lack innovation, investment and the true understanding of the customers’ needs.

Eytan Buchman elaborates on 3 points into Internal Capability Evolution, but for that, you will have to click on a banner below, listen to his webinar and take down notes. 

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Meet new partners online 

The Digital Container Summit might be over for this time, but we will see each other in 2021. And even if you missed the DCS, you can still increase your container logistics network online. Sign up for Container xChange and join 300+ certified members to buy, sell and lease containers. Feel free to reach out to us anytime if you have questions.