Why email is still business critical in the shipping industry
Written by Rune Larsen, Product Marketing Manager | 15 July 2022
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Email is often called the dinosaur of the tech world. However, unlike those beasts of yore, email never went extinct. In fact, it dominates as the tool for all important business communication.
Even with several new communication tools available, email is still the backbone of the professional world, the shipping industry being no exception.
Here are five reasons email remains the default solution for important communication in any industry.
1. Standard – in every sense of the word
While it has evolved, the standard created in the RFC 821 from 1982 is still the base for all email communication. But, more importantly, it’s been the de facto standard for electronic messaging for decades,–a standard not owned by anyone but adopted by everyone.
Email is the lowest possible common denominator that we expect everyone is able to receive and send. While companies or groups of people can migrate to more current solutions, they do not serve more than that company or group. In that case, a specific, usually paid application must be agreed upon beforehand.
2. Everyone uses it
Email is a handy all-purpose communication tool massively adopted by all businesses. . Who doesn’t use email today, either privately or professionally? They are few and far between. Getting people to migrate from email to another medium has been challenging.
You may agree with people you know to use other applications (e.g. WhatsApp or Telegram). Still, you fall back to email the minute you experience any glitches.
Though many modern-day seafarers - as individuals - are migrating to messaging services like WhatsApp, email is still the primary communication platform for ships at sea, particularly for business.
Let’s face it; the real-time messaging app Slack can be pretty overwhelming and distracting with its frequent desktop and mobile notifications.
Email’s asynchronous nature, however, gives the receiver time to respond and, by being easier to ignore for long periods of time, shows more respect for his or her time and any tasks at hand. This enables focused work while still being hooked up to the information flow.
4. Provides permanent log
Email messages remain in your inbox unless you deliberately delete them. Want to track down a specific message? You don’t need to scroll unnecessarily to find it; you just need to search for it in the search function. This creates a virtual paper trail that is far more efficient than printed documents filed away in a drawer.
Besides that, companies usually create email vaults to secure that business communication is kept unchanged for as long as necessary or legally required.
5. Ensures business communication between ship and shore
Email protocols are excellent for environments where the other side (or sides) might not be online at all times. The ‘store and forward’ method caters for correct delivery even if emails queue up awaiting connectivity.
This characteristic is vital to shipping companies’ operations, as email creates the backbone of business communication and information exchange.
Maritime email must be reliable and secure
If we are to compare email to an animal, I’ll go for ‘workhorse’ and not ‘dinosaur’. Email might not be the most up-to-date and agile method, but it gets the job done.
In today’s shipping industry, email is still the most efficient means of communication, particularly for exchanging business-critical information between ship and shore.
However, email is neither secure nor reliable as is. A digital platform for ships – running a maritime-optimised email system with multilayered security – is necessary to enable efficient and dependable business operations at sea.
Written by Rune Larsen, Product Marketing Manager
Rune Larsen is Product Marketing Manager in Dualog. Educated in business strategy and marketing from the Arctic University of Norway, he has more than 25 years of experience in the creative industry, where he worked as a writer, consultant, graphic designer, and creative director in various advertising agencies and design studios. He's been orchestrating brand identity projects, design work and brand building campaigns for a wide range of organisations. He brings a passion for great design to the team, never compromising on the importance of the 'experience' part of UX. When not at the office, he enjoys hiking with his wife or is busy being a football coach for his youngest daughter. His fitness regime involves either running or cross-country skiing. Rune is an avid reader of business-related books, and he loves the occasional bottle of Barolo.