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Collaboration, Unification & Digitalisation

Breaking down data silos in shipping is an area of key focus as the sector continues on its digitalisation trajectory. Does working together hold the key to success?

As the last year has shown us all, the world is changing at a faster and faster pace.  This pace of change is evident as well in the maritime sector, which is increasingly throwing off its reputation as a market that is slow to change, and is instead becoming a key part of the vibrant and innovative ocean economy. Of course, change can bring risks. It’s hardly surprising that shipping’s key players have historically operated in a consistent balancing act between progressive investment and ‘business as usual’.

However, across the market, there are signs that this balance is increasingly leaning towards investing in digitalisation and digital technologies. Part of this is due to necessity – the tightening regulatory environment, particularly from a decarbonisation point of view, requires everyone within shipping to think about how the actions we take — and who we partner with — effect the planet.

Digitalisation is now rightly recognised as being important for companies to adapt to the changing market. The potential efficiencies and new ways of working being enabled and unlocked by digital technologies bring increased value and drive positive results. Regardless, there is still a lot of work to be done to prepare information and data which is often siloed, and not standardised or transparent. Embracing technology as a means to drive the required results takes education, understanding and openness from an industry who has successfully been functioning for over 100 years.

Collaboration Bridging the Digitalisation Gap

The growing power and potential of data and digitalisation in shipping may be increasingly evident, but there still remains the question of how we collectively obtain enough data in order for solutions to provide significant impact across the industry. More importantly, we must collectively answer how we dismantle data silos and share information, while maintaining a good balance of data standards, security and stewardship. 

A recent TradeWinds webinar brought together some of the most forward-thinking minds in shipping — including ZeroNorth chairman of the board, and CEO of Maersk Tankers, Christian M. Ingerslev — to open the conversation around what it means to collaborate with peers or even competitors, particularly when it comes to the digitisation of the industry.

“Data has taken the place of oil as the world’s most valuable asset,” said Monique Giese, global head of shipping at KPMG. “We cannot achieve efficiency in operation without this data.”

Christian, comparatively, placed weight on the importance of commerciality in digitalisation, saying, “we have to find new ways of creating the transparency and the clarity around our decision making that makes it attractive to invest in this industry.”

At ZeroNorth, we fully agree that applying data in operations must be a key area of focus, but so too is prioritising a transparent approach that brings everyone along with the journey. The development of our Optimise platform had this key goal in mind: supporting tramp shipping owners and operators to increase their TCE and reduce emissions in a clear and transparent way that securely makes the most of a wide range of data.

Discover our mission, methodology and the team that makes it happen: Who We Are

Establishing Strategic Partnerships

In early December, we announced our strategic partnership with Veson Nautical, global market leader for commercial maritime software. The collaboration enables our vessel optimisation software, Optimise, to securely integrate with Veson’s IMOS Platform (VIP), allowing a seamless transfer of data for joint customers. 

The partnership has many benefits: the integration unlocks TCE improvements and emissions reductions for our customers, and is also a clear example of the ways that collaboration is driving improved access to data, decision-making and is making a difference within shipping.

“By working with Veson, we put Optimise into the hands of more operators across tramp shipping, providing them all with the power to turn their data into actionable insights that benefit their business, our sector, and our impact on the world”, said our CEO, Søren Christian Meyer.

Read more about the partnership: ZeroNorth and Veson Sign Strategic Product Partnership

We believe that strategic partnerships are key for the future digital trajectory of the shipping industry. What’s clear is that we must be prepared to create shared data standards, work together, reduce the ‘barrier to entry’ to reap the rewards of digitalisation, and use all of these methods to generate the step change needed within our market.

Across the industry it is fantastic to see more people embracing this mindset and approach. Discussions like the one mentioned in TradeWinds prove that the industry is increasingly engaged with this conversation. We must continue this good work to-date and adapt and evolve in line with the next, truly momentous, decade for shipping.

Welcome to Compass

Shipping is entering a defining decade that will shape its future for generations to come. It’s clear that digitalisation and data will be a core part of the advancement and change happening within the market.

As we continue to evolve our technology and work with more key partners across the market, we’re committed to bringing you the latest insights and developments on digitalisation in shipping. That’s why we have created Compass, our dedicated blog space.