The increasing concerns about IT, new technology, robotic ships and digital rollouts – they all send a shiver down someone’s spine. The chances of the shipping world turning over and becoming a technological arena are still a little way off and we’ve discussed this before. The world view of automated ships trawling the world’s oceans is still some way off; it will happen in coastal shipping but that’s the starting point.

The digitalisation of the shipping industry will be an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary process. Not that those words are unique: so many others have suggested that in this past year that we are only repeating what many of think about the sector coming to terms with new ways of working. There is still a need to be aware of the importance of seafarers and a subject we have commented on before.

Over the next decade we need to embrace IT and move with the times: they will leave us all behind in this sector if we dawdle. The good news is that within the maritime and shipping worlds there are enough smart people to make it work. Just don’t forget the human element.