Making waves

Serving nearly 20,000 vessels across the globe, OneOcean has become the largest digital solutions provider in the maritime sector

Founded in November 2019 as part of a merger between Chartco and Marine Press, OneOcean offers intelligent maritime software that provides oneocean adigital navigation and regulatory compliance solutions. Anchored by three regional offices in the UK, Montreal, and Singapore, the company has a presence in all large maritime markets. Using up-to-the-minute data, OneOcean solutions enable crews and shoreside teams to work more collaboratively, leading to better informed decision making, the early anticipation of problems, and a substantial reduction of risk “Before the merger, both Chartco and Marine Press had been established for over 25 years, initially providing physical products such as charts and publications before branching out into digital services,” Group CEO Martin Taylor says. “Quickly, both companies moved towards developing a growing suite of software solutions to help customers meet increasingly complex navigational compliance.

“Today, OneOcean has one of the industry’s largest product development teams and generates the majority of its revenue from digital solutions. Our core offering provides voyage solutions to the maritime industry focused around passage planning, compliance, safety, and environmental requirements. We target making navigational decisions more efficient and simplifying the related compliance. In short, we solve our customers’ problems.”

Smart collective
The industry’s leading provider of navigation and compliance services to commercial shipping, OneOcean has amassed a customer base of around 2600 maritime firms, with the average client using at least six products or services on each of their vessels. Offering the broadest range of services in the sector – not one of the company’s competitors possesses a comparably extensive suite of navigation planning and compliance – OneOcean has harnessed the power of technology to help develop its innovative range of problem solving applications.

“As part of the merger, we looked at the needs of our customers and how OneOcean could support their immediate requirements, improve their ability to achieve wider efficiencies, and increase collaboration between ship and shoreside teams,” Martin explains. “Traditionally, the information and business processes within the industry are quite siloed, but with digitisation and technological awareness growing in the sector, it became possible to envision a more co-operative approach through a common operating picture.

“In the past, customers have become familiar with specific products serving specific functions. We really focused on broadening our approach by studying overlapping problems that affect many operational departments but are all part of the same workflow. The result of this was the development of multiple software products that, when used together, address specific operational needs. The wider products work as a smart collective to create ‘solutions’. We can package them in a way that enables greater efficiency and optimisation for our clients.”

One of the company’s most popular products in recent times has been EnviroManager. An increase in the number of environmental regulations, heavier fines, and the risk of environmental harm have led many of the industry’s top companies to search for ways to ensure compliance.

“The EnviroManager product provides clear guidance on what can and cannot be carried out by a vessel, by type and location, in order to be compliant with MARPOL, national, regional and local regulations,” Martin reveals. “As well as the environment being a high-profile area for businesses, regulations and boundaries for baselines are constantly changing, which creates a big challenge for vessels trying to understand what regulations need to be adhered to.oneocean b

“At OneOcean, we have built a dedicated content team to actively monitor what changes are in force, or about to come into force, and keep the software up-to-date with the latest information and guidance, ensuring onboard and onshore crews have visibility of what can be undertaken. We provide feedback in a traffic light format – red for what cannot be undertaken, amber for items that can be undertaken but with restrictions (such as limitations on the amount or at what speed discharges can be made) and green for what is permissible. It was the first product to combine our new approach of combining quality content with smart decision-making software that can engage all stakeholders on a common platform. We are using a similar strategy for our new enhanced passage planning product, which we are really excited about.”

Customer focus
OneOcean’s enhanced PassageManager service has been developed in direct partnership with the firm’s customers, which include vessel owners, vessel managers, international bodies, regulators, classification societies, flag states, and ports. Martin believes that the company’s customer focus is one its great distinguishing traits.

“Products like EnviroManager and PassageManager are the result of collaboration with our customers,” he states. “It’s an approach that’s been working for us and we continue to invest in doing it more often.

“By creating our own unique dataset using aggregate regulatory data sources, we bring extra relevant context to our information. It means we can provide a wider and more precise level of knowledge, while our intelligent software makes using it easier and more effective.

“It’s all about finding ways to make our content more useful for our customers rather than just being used because it is required. The size of our business and our geographical positioning allow us to provide 24/7 support to all our clients and, going forward, we will be working hard to connect them across different sectors so that data, information, and decision making become linked.”

As an industry leader, OneOcean has played a key role in keeping those in the maritime sector safe and well-informed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Alongside the implementation of social distancing and home working policies, the company has ensured that its client base, and the industry at large, have had reliable access to vital information in a time of global upheaval.

“In terms of our customers, we made sure they could access digital publications and charts in place of paper alternatives – especially where stock limitations had come into force due to suppliers on lockdown,” Martin reports. “Going further than that though, we created a live Coronavirus update page, collating together the incidences, notices, and guidance across the maritime industry in one place. It is a free resource for the whole industry to use and has received over 4000 visits between mid-February, when we launched the page, and May.”

Eager to solidify its status across the globe, OneOcean continues to expand. At the beginning of April 2020, the company opened a new Tokyo office to help provide greater support to its increasing number of Japanese clients.

“When OneOcean was established, we created the sector’s largest presence in Japan,” Martin remarks. “We have chosen to invest in this large maritime market and see limitless potential for further work with our forward-thinking customers there. We want to continue our growth in new markets and engage with new voices on future products. Opening an office in Tokyo was a natural progression for us and we are lucky to have such a great team out there.”

Decision support tools
Next on the agenda for OneOcean is the release of a new electronic logbook reporting tool. Scheduled to be available from the summer of 2020, LogCentral is an industry leading recording solution for record keeping, monitoring, reporting, and compliance verification.

“Built with a clean, modern and easy to use interface,” Martin adds, “LogCentral will help manage electronic record books, including those required by MARPOL, such as oil records, garbage, ballast water, and ozone depleting substances. These reports will be available for shoreside teams to see and enable analysis of data which, up until now, has been less accessible. It all ties in with our mission to help our customers improve their operational efficiencies.”

As is illustrated by the company’s commitment to the latest technologies, OneOcean believes the industry’s future will be defined by digitisation oneocean cand what it can offer to the maritime sector. Martin suggests that the access to quantifiable and structured data that digitisation can provide will help decision making and drive business value through the ecosystem.

“The economics of ship operations haven’t really improved in the past ten years,” Martin claims. “The industry has squeezed everything it can out of the suppliers and now the next level of business value is overall 39efficiency between stakeholders and within an organisation. Technology is perfectly suited for this. Digitisation means a lot of things, but for us, it simply means looking past traditional departmental siloes and identifying workflows that need to be more fluid and collaborative in order to allow the experts to make better decisions.”

With a wealth of expertise in the maritime sector, OneOcean understands the challenges facing mariners today and Martin is confident that the company will continue to offer solutions well into the future.

“In five years’ time, I truly believe OneOcean will be the integrated platform that links all processes on ship and shore side, providing myriad decision support tools that the industry wants and needs,” he asserts. “OneOcean’s innovative services will be used within all workflows and will deliver a new level of vessel compliance and enhanced efficiency via digitised and simplified voyage management. We will remove the boundaries between ship and shore and, with the help of a wide breadth of stakeholders, begin to benefit from more efficient, environmentally conscious, and safer practices.”

Services: Digital solutions provider