SITA Disembarks into Maritime Sector by Launching SmartSea

(Image credit: SITA)

SITA, the global leader in technology for the air transport industry, launches SmartSea through an initial agreement with Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM), the world-class ship manager and maritime service provider. SmartSea is the industry’s first company with the power to reshape the maritime sector by facilitating access to the same advanced technology that has already transformed the air transport industry. At the same time, CSM becomes the first SmartSea client to exponentially upscale its operations through this cutting-edge technology.

With this strategic step, SITA is embedding its transformative footprint into the maritime industry, breaking boundaries and simplifying processes for more efficient and profitable operations across the entire value chain.

With 75 years of experience, SITA 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 SITA digital border solutions. SITA’s undeniable role in transforming the air industry and shaping it into what it is now is the strongest proof of the value SITA can provide to the maritime sector.

SITA’s expansion into maritime is clear evidence of its ambition and capacity to boost digital innovation in a sector that, facing similar challenges, can be greatly enhanced by solutions for the air transport industry, 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. 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.

“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. “The global maritime industry plays a vital role in fostering economic growth, human development and global connectivity. By facilitating international trade, creating jobs and driving technological innovation, the industry contributes to better living standards and economic prosperity around the world. By using valuable cross-industry synergies and our international reach, we are collaborating with companies such as Columbia Shipmanagement to elevate their operations to the next level. This is a significant step for us and demonstrates our ability to revolutionize end-to-end travel, regardless of the mode of transport.”

SmartSea is in a privileged position to revolutionize the maritime digital ecosystem, providing a one-stop-shop for maritime technology solutions and becoming the market leader in maritime technology by implementing solutions trusted by the vast majority of the global air travel industry.

SmartSea CEO Julian Panter, commented: “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, added: “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. Utilizing this technology will revolutionize the industry and drive forward digitization, bringing us in line with other technologically advanced industries.”

SITA sees the opportunity to implement technologies that are already helping airlines, airports and governments to offer seamless travel experiences to passengers across the world while improving operations. Drawing from aviation’s evolutionary journey, SmartSea will use SITA’s expertise and CSM’s industry leadership to drive innovation, efficiency and sustainability in maritime operations.

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