SITA disembarks into maritime sector by launching SmartSea

SITA, the global leader in air transport technology, has announced the launch of SmartSea through an initial agreement with Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM), a world-class ship manager and maritime service provider. SmartSea is set to transform the maritime sector by introducing advanced technologies that have already revolutionised the air transport industry. CSM becomes the first client to leverage SmartSea’s cutting-edge solutions, aiming to significantly upscale its operations.

This strategic move marks SITA’s expansion into the maritime industry, aiming to enhance efficiency and profitability across the value chain. With 75 years of experience in serving 95% of international air destinations and partnering with over 2,500 airlines, airports, and governments, SITA’s expertise is now set to benefit the maritime sector. Trusted by more than 70 governments, including all G20 nations, SITA’s solutions currently benefit 85% of international air passengers through digital border solutions.

SITA’s entry into maritime underscores its ambition to boost digital innovation in a sector that faces similar challenges to aviation. Both industries operate in complex, highly regulated ecosystems, are capital-intensive, and rely heavily on data and communication. Moreover, both face stringent sustainability requirements. Ports and ship terminals, much like airports, must manage efficient turnaround and maintenance for vessels, as well as handling crew, passengers, baggage, and freight within budget constraints.

“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. He highlighted the global maritime industry’s crucial role in fostering economic growth, international trade, job creation, and technological innovation.

SmartSea, positioned to revolutionise the maritime digital ecosystem, will provide comprehensive maritime technology solutions. “SITA’s launch of SmartSea and our first agreement with CSM mark a strategic turning point for both SITA and the digitalisation of the maritime industry,” said SmartSea CEO Julian Panter. He emphasised that SmartSea would facilitate the maritime sector’s technological advancements, bringing the latest aviation technologies to maritime operations.

Columbia Group CEO Mark O’Neil expressed excitement about the partnership, noting that SmartSea’s aviation technology will offer maritime stakeholders complete onshore and vessel-based IT systems solutions. This collaboration aims to dramatically improve efficiency, safety, and sustainability, driving the industry towards greater digitalisation.