As digitalization in the maritime sector gains speed, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has launched a new maritime software as a service (SaaS) company called ABS Wavesight, to effectively consolidate all digital products under one roof, offering ship owners a one-stop-shop for it’s A-to-Z digital solutions.
In an interview with Maritime Reporter's Greg Trauthwein, Paul Sells, the CEO and the president of the newly formed ABS Wavesight provided the rationale behind the ABS decision to launch the new company.
He said: "...ABS has been for over 160 years, a strong technical contributor to classification services and to the maritime industry as well. With a lot of the changes that are going on in the industry right now, ABS felt that it was time to consolidate the digital products that are under our broad umbrella and bring them back to market in a product-focused organization as an ABS-affiliated company."
ABS says that, unlike competitors, ABS Wavesight’s purpose-built, integrated solutions "ensure a cohesive user experience that reduces costs, improves safety and designs out inefficiencies."
Sells, an engineer who used to be involved in the construction of aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy for 10 years, said: "[ABS Wavesight] includes everything that's under ABS's portfolio today, including Nautical Systems, which has been in the market and powering shipping companies for all of their technical services and management needs for over 30 years.
"We're also bringing in My Digital Fleet, which includes compliance. It includes vessel performance and voyage performance optimization solutions to meet the modern needs of the decarbonization drive in the industry. And then, finally, we're very excited to talk about our Electronic Logbooks products as well, which are very fast to get onto and help you get out of paper and are approved by many flag states," Sells says.
Nautical Systems is ABS' fleet management system that provides comprehensive tools to improve reliability and performance. My Digital Fleet is an AI-driven analytics and performance visualization platform. The two solutions are collectively installed on more than 5,000 vessels across the global fleet.
According to ABS, ABS Wavesight builds on these capabilities by integrating both products to offer "unparalleled visibility into fleet assets and real-time insights that drive sustainable operations and reduce operational risks."
In a press release marking the ABS Wavesight launch, ABS said that the company would provide: Risk-based business intelligence with the ability to support predictive decision-making using artificial intelligence; CII impact calculation and prediction to avoid risk and improve the score; Deep insight into fuel spend while improving the efficacy of vessel routes; and seamless integration of industry-trusted, third-party data into one single platform.
The company's website further says that ABS Wavesight provides clients "insights needed to help reduce their carbon footprint, drive ESG initiatives and increase profitability."
Maritime Reporter's Trauthwein also asked Sells to explain how the service would ultimatly benefit the shipowner.
Sells said:"The immediate benefit to the ship owner will be the integration and seamless user experience that we'll be bringing to bear. So your technical managers are logging into Nautical Systems, or perhaps your operations manager are so logging into MDF, and all that information will eventually be interoperable and portable."
In a separate statement on Wednedsay Sells said that vision is for ABS Wavesight to provide our clients with "unmatched value" through a suite of products that offer integrated solutions vs. fragmented vendor offerings, open APIs vs. closed systems that don’t share data, and a flexible architecture for easy system integration and maintenance vs. costly upgrades every few years.
Sells also shared his thoughts on the term "digitalization" (in the maritime segment), as the term appears to be everywhere these days, but with varying interpretations depending on who you ask, and on how it is developing these days.
"If you compare it to some other industries, manufacturing being an example, we started talking about process automation. And that morphed into the IoT revolution or the IIoT revolution. Transformation of an industry takes a long time. Maritime is no different in a lot of ways. We generate an enormous amount of information, and a lot of that information has been very siloed.
"And it's difficult to make informed decisions with information you don't have access to or if you have an incomplete picture. So the place of maritime today is accelerating daily. I began working in my career in maritime, and it seemed slow at the time. I took a little break. I came back. It's twice as fast as it was. And I bet in two more years, it'll be even faster. But it's changing every day right now, so the pace is amazing," he says.
For the newly launched ABS Wavesight Sells says that the immediate top prioprities are to consolidate the company's products, build consistent and cohesive user experiences, and ensure that ABS Wavesight's customers are able to access everything in the company's portfolio to meet their business needs.
Also, in a press statement statement released Wednesday, Sells said: "Our primary focus is developing software that helps clients gain more visibility into their existing operations to mitigate risk and deliver operational excellence as shipping pushes toward a new horizon."
According to ABS, ABS Wavesight also promotes strategic collaboration among industry partnerships, such as Kongsberg Digital and Sofar Ocean, with operators and owners, such as Capital Ship Management and Diana Shipping Services S.A., which are implementing the My Digital Fleet platform to support organizational sustainability goals.