Shipping companies receive a flood of emails daily – vessel schedules, cargo updates, port information, regulatory notifications, and more. These messages play a vital role in transmitting information that guarantees the smooth transportation of goods across seas. But processing and managing large volumes of maritime data is an overwhelming task. Without a purpose-built email system in your maritime software stack, it's like navigating a stormy sea without a compass.
With this buyer's guide, you can make an informed decision about the top features to look for in your maritime email management software.
Top 9 features to look for in your maritime email management tool
When evaluating maritime email platforms, add these 9 features to your checklist:
1. Conversation organisation with tagging
Due to the nature of maritime communications and the volume of incoming messages, accessing an email or retrieving specific information from the inbox is often arduous and time-consuming.
Your email management software should do more than just arrange emails in threads. Tagging allows for all related emails to be automatically pulled together into a single view, making it easy to follow the flow of communications. You can transition between shared inboxes and collaborate with colleagues and teams more efficiently.
With Sedna's email platform, you can effortlessly access messages and comprehend their context through its advanced tagging functionality.
2. Search capabilities
Without a search functionality, tasks that should be straightforward — like finding vessel schedules — would become time-consuming and negatively impact the overall efficiency of maritime operations. A robust search feature enables you to swiftly pinpoint specific emails and access information essential for effective shipping communications.
Sedna’s data-driven platform empowers you to locate information through a boolean search. A live search notifies you of messages in your inbox related to regions, ports, and your most important contacts so you can stay updated.
Sedna also lets you view each message's activity and derive relevant context from it. For example, by integrating with a transportation management system (TMS), your teams gain access to insights and contexts that empower them to promptly respond to shipment updates, document requests, and quote inquiries, ultimately enhancing customer service quality.
3. Shared inboxes
Maritime email management tools should enable collaboration by allowing teams to work together. For instance, if a vessel's departure schedule needs adjustment, the operations team can communicate directly within the software, discussing and finalising the changes without requiring extensive email chains.
Sedna provides shared inboxes that multiple team members simultaneously access. They can discuss, share insights, and make collective decisions without lengthy email exchanges. This transparency ensures all stakeholders know the latest developments, fostering trust and collaboration between internal teams and external partners.
4. Document management
Efficient management of documents — e.g., vessel schedules, cargo manifests, bills of lading, port clearance documents, and regulatory compliance forms — is critical to smooth shipping operations. After all, maritime personnel share, track, and update these documents on a daily basis.
In your shipping email system, you need a dedicated document management feature that allows for versioning and tracking, so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.
5. User permissions
In a maritime company, different teams handle operations, finance, and legal. User permissions ensure that only relevant personnel access specific emails. You need a platform that offers role based access control. This way, only authorised personnel can access specific emails or information, reducing the risk of data breaches and ensuring that sensitive data remains in the right hands.
Customisation of user access based on roles and responsibilities is a must. Consider the case of ship captains who can access vessel-related emails, while financial data remains restricted to the finance team. This granularity in user permissions not only enhances security and compliance but also contributes to the overall efficiency of your maritime business.
6. Integrations with third-party applications
Data sources such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and bills of lading are often lost in siloed technology, including traditional email software and manual spreadsheets. A unified platform leveraging API integrations enables you to save valuable time and minimise the risk of missing critical messages and documentation.
Integrations with third-party applications in maritime operations offer cost savings, improved collaboration, automation, streamlined data flow, and seamless communication. With an integrated platform, you not only reduce the amount of manual work but also minimise the risk of errors, ensuring regulatory compliance.
Sedna's integrations with third-party applications create a unified ecosystem, streamlining information flow, reducing manual work, empowering maritime companies with real-time data. By integrating with document management systems, the platform simplifies the sharing and tracking of maritime documents — bills of lading, cargo manifests, vessel inspection reports etc.
7. Workflow automation
Modern email management tools provide automation capabilities that save time and reduce the risk of overlooking critical messages. With automated thread categorisation, incoming emails are intelligently tagged based on pre-defined rules. This means that messages containing port information are promptly tagged, prioritised, and sorted, ensuring the relevant team receives timely notifications.
A DNV survey reveals that only one in five maritime professionals feel prepared to respond to and recover from a cyberattack at sea. Inadequate security measures often lead to phishing, data breaches, and financial losses.
With secure, cloud-based data storage, Sedna ensures that your critical information remains protected from unauthorised access or data loss. Encryption ensures that even in transit, emails and attachments remain protected.
Sedna's intelligent firewall actively monitors and filters incoming and outgoing emails, identifying and blocking potential security threats. This proactive approach prevents malicious emails from reaching users' inboxes, minimising the risk of phishing attacks and malware infections.
9. Multi-channel/device support
Maritime professionals are constantly on the move, managing operations from various locations and often across different time zones. The ability to access critical maritime information from multiple channels and devices enhances responsiveness. When a time-sensitive cargo update comes through, your email management platform must ensure that you receive it promptly, whether in the office, onshore, or aboard a vessel.
With Sedna, you have access to email communications when you're working from the office, if you’re aboard a vessel, or simply using a mobile device on the move. Sedna's unified communication approach simplifies data management, enhances security, and fosters compliance.
Choosing the right maritime email software
Sedna offers a comprehensive suite of tools tailored to unique maritime needs. By choosing your email platform wisely, you're not just streamlining your communication – you're steering your maritime business toward success.
Learn why top shipping companies rely on Sedna as their maritime email management software. Schedule a demo to see our platform in action.
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