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Partnerships and Collaboration: A New Normal for a Siloed Sector

Shipping faces an immense number of challenges that it must overcome in the next decade. The constant push for profitability, the requirement to address the industry’s impact on the climate, and the constant volatility that owners and operators must face are collectively creating a totally unique operating context that promises big changes for the way that shipping goes about its daily business.

It’s clear that there is no single solution for these challenges. But the industry is increasingly coming to terms with some of the things that it can do now to help manage its transition. As we have previously discussed across this blog, digitalisation and embracing new technologies will be an important part of the sector’s response over the next few years.

But while digitalisation may be a part of the solution, the sheer scale of the industry – and the depth of the transition we must undertake - means that no one player can solve all these challenges on their own.

This philosophy is precisely what drives us at ZeroNorth. We think that partnerships are important because they create outcomes that are greater than the sums of their parts; by utilising the complimentary skills and expertise of data companies and software developers, alongside experts who deal with data specific to the maritime domain, the industry will be able to make the most of its digitalisation transformation.

Eliminating data silos

The power of data solutions in shipping is growing rapidly. More and more owners and operators are looking to data-led insights to help enhance their fleets and enable them to profitably decarbonise. This is not even to mention the exciting future developments that data and technology can enable, such as fully intelligent vessels or even full autonomy for oceangoing ships.

The industry’s vast - but widely underutilised - data resource holds the answer to a number of challenges operators and owners face. The right applications can leverage data to truly enhance vessel performance, increase earnings and reduce CO2 emissions. In short, the sector is waking up to the fact that data can be turned into a true commercial differentiator and driver.

Whilst it’s true that the industry has a wealth of data at its fingertips, much of this information is tied up in data silos. This makes strategic partnerships and collaboration even more important, because it’s only by working together that we’ll be able to dismantle some of those data silos and realise a greater cumulative benefit.

As understanding of this grows, partnerships will become a ‘new normal’, particularly as our sector becomes more transparent and comfortable with the idea that collaboration can work hand-in-hand with commercial performance.

Collective benefits

But what sort of benefits arise from partnerships? For ZeroNorth, we start by looking at the benefits we have seen from our experience of working with key partners from all corners of the maritime digitalisation space.

Over the last year, we have steadily built a complimentary ecosystem of data providers and technology leaders, strengthening the power of our Optimise platform, but also enabling us to realise a cumulatively greater impact than the organisation could generate on its own.

From weather data to AIS positions, bunker prices to fuel consumption models, each one of our partners provide invaluable data insights. By connecting these numerous data points within a single platform, we can unlock a huge increase in value above trying to interpret all of this information individually. 

Changing tides

Accelerated by an emerging post-pandemic world, shipping’s reputation as an historically static industry is shifting. The acceptance and adoption of digital solutions to help enhance operations, increase earnings and importantly, reduce emissions, has paved the way for a new approach to solving challenges: partnerships and collaboration.

At ZeroNorth, we are proud to play our part in driving this change. Visit our Partner page to discover more about the key players ZeroNorth is working with as we continue on our mission to digitalise shipping for the climate.