SITA Ventures Into the Maritime Industry


Air transport technology company SITA is venturing into the maritime industry by launching SmartSea. The platform will provide the maritime industry with the same kind of data SITA already provides to the aviation industry. At the same time, SITA has announced an initial agreement with Columbia Ship Management, which will become the first SmartSea client.

“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. “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.”

SITA says its 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.

SITA notes that 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 facing 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 SITA CEO David Lavorel. “By using valuable cross-industry synergies and our international reach, we are collaborating with companies such as Columbia Ship Management to elevate their operations to the next level. This is a significant step for us and demonstrates our ability to revolutionise end-to-end travel, regardless of the mode of transport.”

“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,” said Columbia Group CEO Mark O’Neil. “Utilising this technology will revolutionise the industry and drive forward digitisation, bringing us in line with other technologically advanced industries.”


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