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Satnews Daily
November 5th, 2015

Rickmers Group's Entire Fleet Goes With Marlink Maritime VSAT

[Satnews] Rickmers Group has selected Marlink Maritime VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) services for its fleet of 90+ vessels including Container Ships, Bulk Carriers and Heavy Lift Vessels.

Rickmers decision to migrate to multiband VSAT from Marlink was based on improving operational efficiency through better integration of ship and shore side networks in addition to providing internet connectivity for crew welfare.

High bandwidth availability on Marlink’s Ku-band ‘Plus’ maritime VSAT services will enable Rickmers to significantly enhance on board IT opportunities whilst introducing the possibility of live monitoring, tele-medicine and remote access from shore to ship, supporting various energy efficiency initiatives across the fleet. With Marlink Maritime VSAT Rickmers will also be positioned to enhance communication facilities for crews, through availability of high quality Internet access.

As an international provider of services for the maritime industry, a vessel owner and an ocean freight carrier, Rickmers works with many of the world’s leading maritime transport companies. By choosing Marlink VSAT and deploying modern IP applications designed to deliver cost-savings and improved performance management for vessels, the Group improves its ability to meet customer requirements by providing reliable and cost-effective services in a very competitive market.

Marlink’s service suite is a key enabler of Rickmers’ energy efficiency strategy aimed at improving operational efficiency and reducing emissions. Rickmers will specifically focus on achieving better energy efficiency by extracting data from on board machinery including main engines and auxiliary equipment, which will support improvements in vessel performance and fuel usage.

Roll-out of a combination of Marlink Maritime VSAT services with data quota or dedicated CIR (Committed Information Rate) across the Rickmers' fleet, which operates primarily in Europe & Asia, started in August 2015. In addition to the on board VSAT hardware, all vessels will have new MSS (Mobile Satellite Services) terminals installed for unlimited back-up communication. L-band back-up solutions are a standard feature of the multi-band approach of Marlink Maritime VSAT Plus services, which also include readiness for migration to Ka- and Ku-band HTS services such as Inmarsat Fleet Xpress and Intelsat EPIC.

XChange, Marlink’s innovative service delivery platform, will allow Rickmers to manage and control its communications networks on board as well as from shore. XChange supports IT staff in significantly reducing the time needed for infrastructure administration. Rickmers will also use Universal Remote Access (URA) on XChange for remotely accessing ICT equipment on its ships.

Executive Comment

“Data Mirroring between ship & shore is one important aspect which we are considering for our future setup, for which Marlink provides a reliable and cost-efficient conduit,” said Capt. Ninad Mhatre, Senior VP, Commercial and Operations, Rickmers. “Further efficiencies will be gained through the use of real-time applications such as videoconferencing, remote monitoring and the ability to download ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) updates and weather reports without having to consider the cost of each download”.

“The shipping industry’s desire to operate more efficiently through the use of state of the art technology in order to reduce fuel consumption and better manage on board equipment and IT networks requires a quality multi-band link that is always available,” said Tore Morten Olsen, Head of Maritime Satcoms in Airbus Defence and Space. “Our VSAT services act as an enabler for ‘Smart Shipping’, where a more IT and data based approach can enable improved performance across a vessel or a large fleet.”