A new survey carried out on more than 175 industry professionals and executives involved in maritime shipping has highlighted their key concerns for world trade going forward.
The inaugural Navis Business Bellwether report discovered that 41 per cent of respondents are either somewhat or very concerned about the global business environment, while 46 per cent reported being cautiously optimistic.
Only 12 per cent were able to say they were 'very optimistic' about the economic situation going forward.
The most dominant worry was the rise of trade protectionism and new tariffs, cited by a third of respondents as being extremely concerning. Cyber security was also high on the list, but only 11 per cent reported being fearful about another economic downturn.
Other key concerns included rising fuel costs, a lack of process efficiency and the disruption of labour.
When it came to how trade could be improved, many respondents pointed to a need for better collaboration and operational planning across the supply chain, as well as more supply chain visibility.
A need to share data more effectively was also highlighted as an area for improvement, with those polled almost unanimous about a need for standardization of data interfaces to improve data sharing and collaboration.
Head of thought leadership for the BPI Network Dave Murray said: "The industry appears to be very focused on raising operational performance and profitability through improvements in process quality and efficiency and increased investments in technology."
Andreas Mrozek, global head of marine and terminal operations for Hamburg Sud, said: "Trustworthy platforms need to be set up which permit data collaboration without interfering in and negatively impacting the business model of the individual business partners."
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