Norwegian shipowner Grieg Star is installing VSAT on its general cargo ships to help digitise fleet operations and improve crew welfare. The Bergen-based ship operator has chosen Marlink to supply a premium version of its Sealink VSAT service on 33 vessels so it can enable fleet efficiency enhancing applications.
VSAT will also expand crew connectivity on these ships, said Grieg Star chief operating officer Jan Øivind Svardal. He explained that VSAT and an unlimited L-band back-up are needed for the company to meet the “ever-growing need for connectivity on board our ships, both for crew initiatives and from an operational point of view”.
Grieg Star recognised that seamless broadband satellite communications is a conduit for applications that will help lower costs of fleet operations. “Now is the time to fully embrace digitalisation,” Mr Svardal said. “Following extensive testing, we can focus even more on digitalisation to ensure that our fleet operates as efficiently as possible.”
Marlink was chosen to deliver VSAT on 33 ships after three months of sea trials with the Sealink multiband network and its global coverage. Grieg Star chose Marlink’s XChange managed service and consultancy services to integrate digital technology into its shipping and logistics operations. Marlink will support the ship operator’s strategy to establish operational digital applications such as condition-based maintenance and system monitoring.
XChange is also the foundation for Grieg Star to improve its crew welfare offering throughout its fleet. It will enable crew to use their own mobile devices to access internet applications via wifi networks on the ships.
Marlink maritime president Tore Morten Olsen said this contract is part of a wider shipping industry trend to embrace more digital applications. “With our Sealink managed services, Grieg Star has made an important step in its digital evolution, which will ultimately result in improved operational efficiencies and better services to its customer base,” he added.