THE digitalization and automation of global shipping are inevitable but for some, this could also be a downside to a labor-supplying country like the Philippines.

The arrival of new technology has started for the shipping industry and fully automated vessels, communications and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could replace warm bodies working onboard vessels. It is a scenario not exactly relished by the Philippines, a country that has more than 400,000 registered seafarers and at one time, supplied crew for more than half of the vessels plying the global trade.

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