The two-year study, which was funded by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has concluded that new technology will cut global demand for seafarers by around 22% between now and 2040.
But it predicts that continued growth in world seaborne trade will mean a sustained demand for skilled and experienced seafarers, but the task of seafarers will change to more digital ones, especially in operations monitoring and system management and in less operational work. As pointed out, the seafarer of the future will benefit by combining maritime skills with the digital ones.
When it comes to the port sector, the workforce in ports needs training and reskilling. Although port automation is developing rapidly, some automation processes in ports still face considerable technical impediments, according to the report.
Researchers concluded that the introduction of automation in global transport will be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary and that 'despite high levels of automation, qualified human resources with the right skill sets will still be needed in the foreseeable future'.