The maritime industry generates vast amounts of operational and technical data, yet much of this information sits in silos or goes unused. Companies like Opsealog and OrbitMI are working to help shipowners, operators, and charterers break down data barriers and derive actionable insights from their information assets. The benefits of doing so include improved vessel and fleet performance, lower emissions, and cost savings.
Many ships still rely on paper logs or basic spreadsheets to record data. However, this could be less efficient, prone to errors, and make analysis harder. Digital tools like Opsealog’s logbook software facilitate high-quality data collection onboard and automated transfer shoreside. Better data opens opportunities to optimise voyages. Opsealog’s Arnaud Dianoux explained, “Data is our fuel, and our core business is transforming this data into action.” Once data is centralised, companies like OrbitMI provide connected workflows and visualisations to eliminate silos. This contextualises information for decision-making. Orbit’s David Levy said, “We’re trying to eliminate data silos and prevent the need to log in and out of multiple platforms and solutions.” Their focus is making data actionable within existing systems.
Rather than competing, these companies aim to add value for clients by partnering. According to Nautilus Labs’ CEO Matt Heider, “A lack of data-driven collaboration is endemic to the maritime industry.” Legacy charter agreements discourage information sharing due to penalty clauses. Modernisation is needed to align incentives around sharing data to improve efficiency and meet decarbonisation goals. The current $2.4 trillion maritime decarbonisation opportunity motivates all industry stakeholders to participate. Owners, operators, cargo owners, ports, finance providers, and technology partners can benefit from collaboration. But this requires a shift in mindset.
Heider explained, “Charter parties need to be changed so counterparties are encouraged to share data to improve commercial efficiency and decarbonisation efforts.” With supportive contracts and the right digital tools, the industry can break down data silos. Sharing information will build an understanding of where the most significant efficiency and emissions gains can be achieved. Analysis of comprehensive operational data will likely show that ships are being impacted by inefficiencies elsewhere in the supply chain. This spotlight can drive chain-wide improvements.
The vision is a future where all parties are empowered to optimise decision-making through access to clean, connected data. With the pressure to improve vessel performance and reduce emissions, strong incentives exist to make this vision a reality. Companies that leverage technology and partnerships to unlock their data will gain a competitive advantage. The result will be a more efficient, sustainable maritime industry.
For a more in depth understanding of the topics covered in this article, refer to our latest report titled ‘Common Interest; How the maritime industry can share data, collaborate with trust, and build a mutually beneficial digital ecosystem.’ This comprehensive guide benchmarks shipping’s progress on using digital solutions to collaborate on decarbonisation goals and shows how industry frontrunners are breaking down the technical, legal, financial and cultural barriers.