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The Power of PartnerShips: Building digital ecosystems for the maritime industry

Sedna joins other global players, technology innovators, and investors within shipping at Nor-Shipping 2023. Alongside this, Sedna is announcing an updated visual language and website which matches the smooth and sleek feel of the platform, and represents the innovation of Sedna going forward.

This year, Nor-Shipping is focussed on ‘PartnerShips’.
Stu Hornsey, Head of Partnerships at Sedna, shares his vision on collaboration in the maritime shipping space and why it’s critical for creating shared value across such a rapidly developing and, increasingly digital, industry.

The maritime industry is experiencing major change such as new regulations, economic and environmental influences, and increasing digitalisation.

Trusted data, that’s actionable, is critical to mitigate risk, drive growth and adapt to a rapidly evolving supply chain ecosystem.

The increase in complexity and variety of data sources, and ever increasing volumes such as cargo and container data, vessel and Automatic Identification System (AIS), ports, bill of lading, bunker data etc. are often lost in siloed systems, including traditional email systems and manual spreadsheets.

Technology is now available to significantly reduce paper-based ways of working and manual intensive tasks to streamline the ocean freight supply chain. Recent years have seen an explosion of maritime start-ups and new entrants offering digital tools and data services – ranging from those providing advanced safety and security to those offering new insights to fix and then optimise voyages and handle inefficient tasks such as demurrage claims and, of course, new ‘AI’ enabled offerings.

This wave of tools offers the chance to rethink, streamline and automate, optimising business performance aided by new insights from ‘smart-data’ solutions.

While each solution provides its own benefits to the maritime industry, it has also led to questions around how shipping professionals can stay informed and best act on this broader range of tools and data and then how best to choose and leverage digital automation and analysis to achieve the best results for your specific needs.

The complexity of information flows

As Maritime companies now have a virtual sea of software solutions at their disposal, they have the choice to be able to ‘mix and match’ different tools to build the right technology ‘stack’ that will deliver for them and their business, to remain competitive and optimise efficiencies.

Yet, while these innovations are a welcome change, it also introduces a new challenge: How do you stay on top of an increasing influx of data that’s spread out across a growing number of disparate platforms? How do you speed up the utilisation of that information for decision-making, without spending extra time trying to connect the dots or ensuring important information isn’t missed?

This is something being grappled with across all industries, for example, a recent survey found that large organisations use 367 software apps and systems on average and revealed that the top reason employees feel disengaged is that having to juggle all these tools and switching between them makes it too hard for them to find the information they need to do their jobs.

This issue is particularly difficult to solve in the maritime shipping industry. A single shipment requires input from various sources and constant tracking, and in an increasingly digital world, these sources are spread out across different organisations and platforms such as email, chartering software, voyage management systems, and more.

So, how do you minimise information silos and simplify these complex streams of information?

At Sedna, we believe that the answer to this question lies in an open technology ecosystem and business collaboration to provide advice and support. By partnering with both established industry leaders and innovative start-ups, we support secure data exchange that’s controlled by the customer and delivers maximum value by reducing the noise from increased information overflow to deliver exactly the data people need to make their daily decisions faster, and more accurately.

🔒 Read how we keep data privacy at the heart of our open partner ecosystem.

We promote Open APIs and pair with leading industry-agnostic platforms, like Salesforce, SAP and Google Drive, as well as maritime technology tools and apps – like ABRAXA, AXSMarine, Dataloy, Gat-Ship, OrbitMI, Q88, SAP, Veson, and Voyager plus more to solve customer problems.

This open philosophy is at the core of Sedna and Sedna’s advanced email platform. But the real value comes from the ability to bring together and create an organised view of information flows from across the aforementioned platforms.

Integrations to increase performance

As an example, the integration with our partner OrbitMI enables users to pull vessel performance information and also deviation alerts to ETA, speed, and consumption, from the dashboard and display it directly in the email view.

“Our collaboration with SEDNA has helped our customers eliminate silos and prevent the need to log in and out of multiple platforms and solutions through what we call ‘intelligent connected workflows."

Ali Raza, CEO, OrbitMI

We also work with Veson and their Voyage Management System to display data alongside the email, removing the need for users to jump between screens and presenting users with an expanded, centralised hub of data.

With our recently launched enhanced integration with the Veson IMOS Platform, it not only offers more useful data points but also calculates if there are changes in the estimated times of arrival and departure to provide a visual cue if there are delays – all while viewing a relevant email an operator needs to action.

"By breaking down barriers between our clients’ critical systems, we can create a more streamlined and contextual experience.”

John Veson, CEO and Co-Founder, Veson Nautical

Our partnership with Voyager, allows vessel owners, operators, and charter teams to easily view, and exchange voyage documents via Sedna to Voyager. Through having data in one space, the integration saves significant time and reduces the risk of human error that could otherwise occur when uploading and downloading documents.

“The interface between operations software and your inbox has been a major technology gap for teams in the shipping space. With this integration I am excited to see a true plug & play integration come alive where data and documents can move seamlessly between the email platform and operations platform.”

Matthew Costello, CEO, Voyager

Port agents can also benefit from the flow of relevant information into their inbox through our partnership with ABRAXA. While port agency operations are typically data-intensive and time sensitive, users can extract, manage and use their port call data between ABRAXA and Sedna.

“This integration brings significant time and cost benefits to our mutual customers."

Peter Balchev, Founder and CEO, ABRAXA

The SEDNA-Dataloy integration, a voyage management system, provides similar benefits.

"Together, we are reshaping the maritime industry by seamlessly enabling the flow of critical information, optimising operational efficiency, and fostering robust connections among stakeholders. Our valued customers benefit directly from our strong relationship, characterised by trust, open communication, and a shared drive to achieve mutual success in our collective endeavours."

Hege Jacobsen, Head of Partner Relations, Dataloy

A partner network, more than just an integration

Having seen first-hand the value that true partnerships can deliver, we have created an ecosystem for integrations. Sedna strives to be able to support as many technologies as possible and foster the relationships that ensure these integration solve customer problems. Customers take control to allow the right data to move securely between systems and ultimately create an end-to-end maritime shipping workflow.

To encourage collaboration, we have avoided a one-sided approach to integrations, and instead actively build and support open APIs, allowing our customers to build integrations themselves, along with our partners, to securely plug into and communicate with our solution.

The ‘integration transparency’ we drive ensures that we don’t get in the way of existing (or future) customer workflows. Our users are currently able to integrate their proprietary solutions into Sedna and, when new tools come to market, they will be able to switch and integrate to those tools as well, without losing the connectivity and data they already have.

We choose who to partner with through our network of partners, listening to our customers to identify needs and constantly monitoring analysts, the market, and researching the latest technology and innovations.

Integrations are openly available for end users to view and choose from within the Connected Apps feature of our platform. Launched earlier this year it lets Sedna customers—including leading global shipping and logistics companies like Ardmore Shipping, NORDEN and Bunge—easily find, request and connect Sedna to these tools, putting our customers in the driving seat.

The future of PartnerShips

At Sedna, we prioritise our partnerships to solve customer problems and drive our mission to make the Maritime industry more digitised, reducing email volumes and collaborating as widely as possible for the benefit of all.

The key to succeeding in a complex and interconnected space like maritime shipping is collaboration. Our network of partners is extending beyond just integrations to alliances and business services. If you’re interested, do get in touch.

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