A new report published by Inmarsat and compiled by maritime innovation consultancy Thetius makes a compelling case that shipping companies seeking to meet current and emerging challenges facing the maritime industry will benefit from a strategic approach to connectivity.
The report, The Network Effect: Strategising Connectivity at Sea for Maximum Impact provides guidance on effective connectivity framework strategies. It details the business benefits and specific capabilities that shipping companies can access by applying an effective connectivity strategy across their business IT, crew, and operational networks. These include voyage and port-call optimisation, emissions reduction, condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance, trade facilitation, seafarer welfare and training, remote surveys and pilotage and telemedicine services.
Matthew Kenney, Director of Research and Consulting, Thetius, said: “Against a backdrop of evolving regulatory requirements and increasing emphasis on seafarer welfare, connectivity and data are indispensable to shipping company competitiveness. However, simply purchasing data is no longer enough. If shipowners are to reap the full rewards of operational optimisation, decarbonisation and a loyal and talented crew the right connectivity strategy is essential.”
According to the report, once a shipping company has established its objectives and identified the capabilities needed to achieve them, it will benefit most from finding the right combination of communication services to best support those capabilities. By joining the dots between business goals and connectivity options, operators gain access to a host of benefits including opportunities to optimise and drive efficiency, while reducing running costs and improving profit margins; the ability to attract and retain talented crew; and the capacity to future-proof operations and build in competitive advantages.
Ben Palmer, President, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “Ultimately, a good connectivity strategy relies on a clear understanding of the company’s business goals, the technologies needed to attain those goals, and any additional influencing factors such as resource availability and investment requirements. In that sense shipping is no different to any other industry: collecting, collating, analysis and harnessing the value of data relies on resilient, reliable, secure, globally available connectivity services. It is also critical to recognise that implementing a connectivity strategy is a continuous and iterative process that requires constant monitoring, frequent reassessment, and regular feedback from internal and external stakeholders. As this report makes clear, this is both necessary and highly valuable to modern shipping operations both in terms of driving competitive advantage and addressing decarbonisation goals.”
The study concludes with step-by-step instructions and best-practice guidelines on how to develop and implement a successful connectivity strategy. The full document can be downloaded here.