SITA launches SmartSea; aims at transforming maritime operations

David Lavorel

SITA, the global leader in technology for the air transport industry, has launched SmartSea, the industry’s first company that aims to reshape the maritime sector with advanced technology that has transformed air transport.

The launch was facilitated through an initial agreement with Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM), the world-class ship manager and maritime service provider, that has now become the first SmartSea client to upscale its operations through this cutting-edge technology.

With this strategic step, SITA said it is breaking boundaries and simplifying processes for more efficient and profitable operations across the entire value chain.

With 75 years of experience, the company serves 95% of international destinations in the air travel industry, and over 2,500 airlines, airports, ground handlers and governments all working closely with the company.

More than 70 governments and all G20 nations trust SITA solutions, and 85% of international air passengers globally benefit from the company’s digital border solutions.

SITA's expansion into the maritime sector is aimed at enhancing digital innovation in a sector similar to that of the air transport industry, which is estimated to be 10–15 years ahead in terms of technology adoption.

Both the maritime and aviation sectors operate in a complex and highly regulated ecosystem globally, are capital intensive, and heavily reliant on data and communication while also facing very similar sustainability requirements, a statement said.

Moreover, ports and ship terminals experience the same challenges and opportunities; vessels require turnaround and maintenance, the same as aircraft, and both need to manage crew, passengers, baggage and freight efficiently and with constrained budgets, it added.

“SITA is taking a bold step into the maritime sector, where our longstanding leadership in aviation can serve to overcome economic and capacity challenges, enhance security and unlock new revenue streams for companies across the industry,” said David Lavorel, SITA CEO.

“By using valuable cross-industry synergies and our international reach, we are collaborating with companies such as Columbia Ship Management to elevate their operations to the next level. This is a significant step for us and demonstrates our ability to revolutionizse end-to-end travel, regardless of the mode of transport.”

SmartSea CEO Julian Panter said: "SITA's launch of SmartSea and our first agreement with CSM mark a strategic turning point for both SITA and the digitalization of the maritime industry. The sector is taking important steps towards catching up with the automotive and aerospace industries from a technology perspective.

“The inclusion of SITA in that effort will exponentially fast-track this objective. SmartSea will be the platform that will bring the latest technology from aviation (SITA) to the maritime industry. I am massively passionate about this.”

Columbia Group CEO Mark O’Neil said: “I am thrilled to be working with SmartSea as it brings its extensive experience and innovative aviation technology to the maritime industry.

“Through working with SmartSea, we will be able to offer maritime stakeholders a complete onshore and vessel-based IT systems solution that will dramatically improve efficiency, safety and sustainability. Utilising this technology will revolutionize the industry and drive forward digitisation, bringing us in line with other technologically advanced industries.” – TradeArabia News Service