By the end of this decade, the global maritime connectivity market is projected to undergo steady growth and improved efficiencies, according to industry analysts. For example, capacity leased for Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) is forecast to grow at a 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2029, according to Euroconsult research. Meanwhile, vessels equipped with VSAT are projected to experience an 8.8% CAGR during this same period.
Commercial maritime is being driven by growth in digitalization, smart shipping and improved operational efficiency. For ship owners and operators to remain competitive, they must leverage these technological trends. Consistent, dependable connectivity is a critical enabler of each of these drivers. This means without a global, always-on network designed specifically for ocean coverage, business connectivity at sea could suffer.
Ship owners and operators need a solutions provider that can deliver on mission critical connectivity requirements wherever their ships need to go.
The Ever-Choppy Waters of the Maritime Industry
Market conditions, economic trends and trade agreements continue to alter global shipping routes. For instance, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement has boosted the Canada East Coast-Europe trade lane. In the three years since it’s been passed, the Port of Montreal has experienced a 20% increase in container traffic. Meanwhile, U.S. trade policy has created uncertainty in Trans-Pacific trade, which may cause shippers to use the Suez Canal route rather than a Pacific Ocean transit. With 90% of global trade done via maritime routes, shippers need to remain agile to ensure efficient operations.
Disruptions like these are increasingly demanding innovative solutions for maritime operations to remain competitive. Digitalization, the Internet of Things (IoT) and improved operational efficiency are creating new avenues for growth. This includes applications such as advanced transit-mapping with real-time weather monitoring to find the most optimal new routes, or continuous vessel monitoring.
Additionally, maintaining positive crew and offshore worker welfare increasingly means providing the same connectivity for seafarers that they get on land. This helps crew members and offshore workers stay in touch with family and friends back home during long stretches away. Further, the universal availability of personal electronic devices means crews and passengers expect Wi-Fi access for internet content.
While the economic landscape of certain supply chains and trade continues to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, some analysts anticipate data traffic for ships at sea will likely increase as a result.
To successfully implement many of these vital communications initiatives, ship owners and managers need access to a reliable and high-performance maritime connectivity solution.
For example, a commercial grade connectivity solution is a critical enabler for a ship’s crew to access on-demand operations for 24-hour locations tracking, remote monitoring and performance diagnostics, software upgrades and other vessel-monitoring applications. Without secure and reliable access to data as well as the confidence to communicate at a moment’s notice, all the vessel’s digital tools become useless. Not only does this leave ill-equipped vessels at a significant competitive disadvantage, it could also jeopardize the crew’s welfare and safety.
Smooth Sailing with FlexMaritime
This is where Intelsat’s FlexMaritime can help. FlexMaritime is a global, multi-layered high-throughput (HTS) service that delivers high-speed, secure and reliable connectivity anywhere it’s needed at sea. FlexMaritime takes the complexity out of managing connectivity by offering a broad range of bandwidth solutions that deliver the flexibility and scalability needed to support both existing and future technologies that are driving growth and competitiveness in the maritime industry. And, since FlexMaritime supports over 30 certified antennas, customers can be quickly and easily be brought onto the network.
This advanced connectivity solution combines the high performance and global coverage of Intelsat’s network of high-throughput satellites (HTS) and wide beams to deliver connectivity whenever and wherever it’s needed at sea. This fully integrated HTS network provides maritime owners and operators with speeds up to 20Mbps x 3Mbps, allowing crews to depend on FlexMaritime to deliver services such as:
- Integrating global fleet with onshore operations to enable data analytics, improve environmental awareness, logistical coordination, remote diagnostics and other IoT and business applications.
- Productivity improvements like file transfer and video conferencing.
- Boosting crew morale through faster web browsing, telemedicine, streaming video and video chat.
As your operations evolve, FlexMaritime will keep your fleet connected when it matters most.