The accelerated emergence of information and communication technologies is shaping our professional lives. Internet has dramatically affected jobs and business practices in all professional sectors. It obliges organisations to search for ways to realise the full benefits for competitive advantage and sustainability.
Maritime transport administrative procedures are complex, time-consuming and, even today, are often done on paper. Major European ports have advanced information systems, which deliver considerable quality and efficiency gains. However, the interoperability between port information systems is practically non-existent limiting the potential for new services and economies of scale. Small ports might not be equipped with electronic data transmission at all. Normally at each port call, shipping companies have to enter the same data repeatedly and often manually, resulting in duplication and errors.
Not only is the internet changing the way we do business, but also how we communicate with our social networks, howwe search for information, and even how we learn new skills for our trade. For the "internet" generation, access to cyberspace is a must. Also in the future Europe will need skilful and experienced European seafarers. This will be possible only if future mariners are offered the same possibilities to keep in touch and to learn as other professions on land.
The EU e-Maritime envisages promoting interoperability in its broader sense. It aims to stimulate coherent, transparent, efficient and simplified solutions in support of cooperation, interoperability and consistency between Member States and transport operators.