User demand for digital services in the maritime industry is increasing rapidly, with customer needs for specialised applications calling for ever more bandwidth and lower latency connectivity. Vessel operators must balance complex needs for performance monitoring, regulatory compliance and commercial agility and are increasingly turning to digital tools for support.
Hastened by the Pandemic, ship managers are adopting new approaches and procedures for their operations, embracing video, data sharing and remote access to IT and OT networks for monitoring, maintenance and real time decision-making.
The capability of traditional satellite networks to meet these demands is being tested and leading to the emergence of hybrid networks, combining a high degree of service flexibility with guaranteed bandwidth.
Paolo Magonio, Group Procurement Manager, Scorpio Ship Management said:
In working with our owners, we find they want to use the same collaborative tools as they do ashore to communicate, access documents and data easily and understand the status of the voyage. Using video-conference applications means we can keep our customers updated and to share performance and safety information with the crew.
This need drove Scorpio Ship Management to upgrade the Marlink VSAT network solution on all vessels in its fleet, adding fresh bandwidth to enable more data, L-Band and 4G, new applications and enhanced reporting. To meet Scorpio’s needs, Marlink applied its ‘Network of Networks’ approach to create a solution optimised for the maritime environment. In this case, the network was constructed with service layers and solutions designed to connect Scorpio’s fleet of ships, operating globally and all requiring a consistent quality of service.
The service extension provides Scorpio with higher bandwidth services to meet an increasing level of business need for higher data rates and usage volumes. Scorpio’s managed fleet will be able to satisfy current and future requirements from charterers and regulators, while also providing cost-efficient crew communications.
As both a commercial and technical ship manager, Scorpio has an increasing need to access voyage and vessel data and act immediately to optimise the sailing or take action that can improve machinery performance, said Nicola Fainelli, Scorpio CIO. High efficiency is critical in congested global supply chains, while regulation increasingly requires collection and reporting of emissions and other environmental data for compliance.
Remote operations are focussed on safety and an enterprise network can be deployed required to support CCTV for video monitoring, capture equipment status and provide secure personal communications for crew. With crew welfare and retention at its core, Scorpio will enable a new level of remote access to ship systems and provide crew connectivity with a high level of security.
The Scorpio fleet features Marlink’s smart hybrid network combining Ku, Ka-band VSAT with global coverage for voice and data services, L-Band back-up and global 4G connectivity, bundled with security and optimisation tools.
Meeting this kind of demanding scenario requires a deep integration with the customer so that the solution provided has the functionality and scalability it needs, with an eye on future proof operations too. Marlink’s hybrid network solution enables Scorpio Ship Management to gain the benefits of digitalisation with the connectivity to support its business now and give it room to grow as demands for higher performance and greater efficiency increase.
Shipping remains an unpredictable business but, using a ‘network of networks’ approach makes it possible for operators to increase transparency of their vessel operations. Scorpio can focus on its business, leaving Marlink to integrate connectivity and managed services and deliver a powerful, highly adaptable solution.