A bigger pie: How sharing increases market size

David Levy
May 26, 2020

When we released our report The Impact of Sharing in Shipping, our intent was to stimulate a conversation about the potential benefits of openness and sharing to the shipping and maritime industries. Stimulating a conversation: we have done. We’ve heard from executives who want to know more about the implications of sharing and how to avoid the pitfalls of other industries.   

One question we have been getting from our conversations with oil majors, ship owners and other industry professionals, is “Where is this $237 billion going to come from?” And initially, we had a hard time with that question because we know that you either take market share or you grow market size.  Often they both happen, but at different times. 

Market dynamics change over time

Take Facebook.  Facebook is profitable and at first, its growth came from taking revenue from other markets (read: print advertising, among other places). But it’s also important to realize that Facebook’s growth has also come from increasing the overall size of the digital advertising market.  At first it was a market share grab; then it helped grow the market.  The pie got bigger. 

Shipping is no different.  As you strengthen your own organization’s operations through digitalizationsharing information with your clients and improving efficiencies, you may grow by capturing a rival’s market share.  But over time, your actions and the actions of other firms may grow the overall market size by creating the conditions for innovation and data-backed decisionsThat’s something our whitepaper covers – the imperative of data-backed decision-making – and how it can make shipping (and other industries) so much more powerful, productive and profitable.  

Sharing creates new opportunity for growth

Sharing of data strikes fear into many of the people we’ve spoken to. To that end, we write about what sharing means and what it does NOT mean. Sharing does NOT mean complete transparency where sensitive company information is exposed to everyone. Sharing does NOT mean losing control over information. In fact, sharing requires confidentiality, control and security. It is only with these in place that firms will feel comfortable with collaboration. 

Nonetheless, we understand that change can be frightening, especially in turbulent times. But change happens no matter what.  If you look at the top ten companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today versus 20 years ago, you'll see a lot of change.   

  • Some of the companies dropped from the index during that time:  United Technologies, GE, DowDuPont, AT&T, General Motors and Kodak  
  • Some of the companies added during the same period:  Apple, Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Nike, and Visa. 

As sharing becomes widely adopted and integrated into industry practices, we’ll see more examples of how together we can actually increase the market size and grow as an industry.    

Download Report: Sharing in Shipping

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