Maritime-Specific vs. Generic Email Systems

Maritime teams depend on constant communication to keep everyone aligned and everything in sync. Email communication is critical to a charterer’s daily work and ultimately a maritime team’s success. 

While most team members wish they didn’t have to go through hundreds or even thousands of emails throughout the day, we find shipping and chartering managers sending one email after another filling up our inboxes with “FWD: Re: Re: Important Location Update!” 

Manual email management is time-consuming and today’s technology-driven world provides plenty of industry-specific software that is a much better fit to organize communication and distribute information efficiently. 

Which system is right for you? We’ve broken down the two systems below so that you can decide what will work best for your maritime team.

Generic Email Systems

In the high-volume email environment of the maritime shipping industry, email solutions simply need to work. 

If you’re reading this, like many others, you’ve probably been running your business using a generic email solution like Outlook. For most people, it is one of the first programs they worked with, so the familiarity with the software makes it one of the easiest to use. 

The popularity of generic email systems also means that help and guidance are simple to acquire from colleagues or even online. Similarly, the software’s integration capabilities are readily available and easy to understand. 

Generic email systems are one of the most suitable and cost-effective ways to deal with relatively low numbers of emails for smaller shipping companies, however as shipping companies grow, it becomes more challenging to keep up, update, and manage large volumes of communication.

For example, a shipbroker being bogged down with hundreds or thousands of emails a day will find his or her job to be tedious and inefficient when they could have been working on more profitable and productive activities.

Generic email software stores information internally or locally, so as emails are sent and received, the larger the files grow and ultimately deteriorate your systems search speed. Document sharing in generic email software can also be overwhelming. 

Ultimately, generic email systems offer a solution with a smaller upfront cost, they offer simpler features, and some of those features might be useful for your maritime team operations.

Maritime Email Systems

Have you ever given much thought to what benefit the alternatives might bring?

As the term implies, maritime-specific systems are developed based on the unique needs of the shipping sector. Maritime email systems provide specialized operational features that are more directly applicable to shipping-specific operations and processes. 

Maritime email systems are more collaborative and ultimately allow shipping companies to answer emails faster, cut costs, and drive revenue through features like a shared inbox, team overview, advanced search capabilities, and more.

Shared Inbox

When maritime teams work in isolated inboxes, the information in each email is also isolated. A shared inbox to which an entire team has access, allows everyone to collaborate on every email thread and reduces the amount of time wasted chasing down internal information or colleague communication. 

Team Overview

Team overview functionality allows you to keep track of the actions team members take on a specific email like who has opened or replied. You can utilize it to work collaboratively on every email thread and reduce work overlaps with things like:

  • Overview – a summary of actions related to the chosen email.
  • Timeline – a chronological overview of the actions that are relevant to the email currently.
  • History – keeps a full overview of all actions carried out on the email. 
Advanced Search

General email software programs often have a single search bar with a very slow search and load speed. Maritime-specific search allows you to find any email, contact, calendar invite or event, mailing lists, attachments, and more in just a few clicks.

Both the team overview and advanced search functionality can be beneficial for your businesses when utilized properly. 

An email solution that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the maritime industry can help simplify your inbox, streamline business transactions, and save your team members time and money.

Closing Thoughts

As a shipowner, charterer, operator, etc., you rely upon a dependable email solution to ensure reliable ship-to-shore communication, and arguments can be made for either generic systems or maritime specific email solutions. 

For some shipping companies, a generic system with high brand recognition may seem like a safe and simple solution, but may strip a company of innovation in the long run when it lacks particular capabilities.

Maritime-specific solutions bring special features and capabilities to ensure optimized use of your communication structure and add real value to your business.

Learn more about the benefits of maritime specific email solutions today.  

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