Value migration: digitalization of shipping as a mechanism of industry dethronement

Poulis, Konstantinos ORCID logoORCID:, Galanakis, Gregorios C., Triantafillou, Gregory T. and Poulis, Efthimios ORCID logoORCID: (2020) Value migration: digitalization of shipping as a mechanism of industry dethronement. Journal of Shipping and Trade, 5 (1) , 9. pp. 1-17. ISSN 2364-4575 [Article] (doi:10.1186/s41072-020-00064-0)

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In this conceptual paper, we review latest developments related to unmanned vessels and sketch potential scenarios that implicate with the existing maritime industry structure. On the one hand, we isolate a range of challenges that make the imminent realization of unmanned vessels seem like a rather utopian pursuit. On the other hand, we explain the reasons that may catalyse their emergence. Inspired by these opposing tensions, we highlight that the digital transformation of the shipping industry has the potential to enhance value within the industry’s ecosystem. However, we also contend that unmanned vessels -if realized- pose a very particular threat to the identity of the shipping industry as we know it. In particular, we build upon the concept of value migration and we highlight the drastic existential changes that may likely stem from a shift to non-seafarer-centric shipping. We conclude with questions that matter for industry dethronement purposes i.e., the possibility that existing industry structures may be substantially reconfigured following a removal of the seafarer as the nucleus of value creation in shipping.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Review, Unmanned vessels, Crew, Value migration, Digitalization, Industry dethronement, Autonomous operations
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 30333
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 15:00
Last Modified: 27 May 2021 09:37

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