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Wärtsilä Voyage will supply two of its advanced cloud-based simulation solutions to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) in the USA under a one-year agreement. This will allow cadets at the Academy to continue receiving safe and effective navigational training, despite restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October, Hanseaticsoft is urging shipping companies to ensure seafarers have good connectivity at sea so that they are not left isolated from family and friends, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, 24 September 2020 10:53

V. Group releases Life After Lockdown paper

Ship management company V.Group has released its second discussion paper in the ‘Life After Lockdown’ series, examining the acceleration of digital engagement.

Each paper focusses on a specific area of maritime operations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and sets out key lessons learned. 

The first paper discussed crew engagement post Coronavirus whilst the second is entitled “The acceleration of digital engagement.”

Each paper aims to challenge long-established ways the shipping industry operates by posing questions and inviting the views of others in the industry.

The second paper, a 20-page document, explores whether the pandemic could be a catalyst for change, challenging entrenched ways of working in the maritime sector. It looks at the industry’s use of small data, the impact of digitalisation on crew wellbeing as well as digitalisation’s role as a tool to drive environmental change.  

Stephen Macfarlane, Information Systems director at V.Group, said: “There’s no doubt the pandemic has been a catalyst for change and as we look to the future, this paper explores the extent to which it has accelerated the move towards digitalisation and digital engagement.  There’s no doubt the industry has taken great strides in recent years, but the pandemic and resulting lockdown has certainly had an impact and it’s vital we learn from this.

“We’ve all been forced to change the way we work and communicate with each other and the paper discusses whether the move towards a more digital workforce could be a long-term change.”

To download a copy of the second paper “The acceleration of digital engagement” click here https://vgrouplimited.com/life-after-lockdown-2-download-the-paper 

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has issued a stark warning that if temporary short cuts adopted in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic continue or become permanent, then there will be a rise in shipping accidents and environmental disasters.

Demand for faster and cheaper connectivity at sea is set to increase as sailing is recognised as a safer place to work, travel and holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic says satcom specialist IEC Telecom, which is experiencing an increase in enquiries from vessel operators in the maritime leisure sector.

With ‘lockdowns’ and restrictions easing in some parts of the world, yacht owners are now able to enjoy ‘social distancing’ onboard their vessels, which is leading to a boost in demand for high-speed connectivity and increased bandwidth capacity. With the focus on social distancing, yachts are becoming increasingly attractive remote offices for those able to attend to business matters while enjoying the open sea, sunshine and fresh air. During this challenging time, sailors have an increased need to stay connected for both personal and operational purposes as well as to avoid the need to go ashore as much as possible.

The signs are pointing to an upsurge in leisure boating. Yacht chartering is seen as one of the safest ways to enjoy a break at present due to the minimal contact charterers have with other people. Yachts are considered to be more hygienic, given the ratio of crew to guests and the exclusivity of being on a private boat. Affluent consumers are looking for getaways with fewer crowds, more privacy and the ability to gather privately with those closest to them. The Boat Affair platform (whose rentals are available in more than 60 countries) has seen a 23 per cent increase in requests from customers who traditionally would opt for a hotel vacation or a seaside resort but are now seeking a safer alternative. And, according to a new survey by LuggageHero, 25 per cent of travellers report they will try to avoid crowded commercial flights and public transportation in a post-coronavirus world.

Meanwhile, in countries where travel is still restricted, many larger leisure boats and super yachts remain fully crewed and operational – also leading to increased need for connectivity as crews try to stay in touch with family and friends while conducting as many ship operations as possible via remote techniques. With crew restricted to remaining on the vessel in many places, higher speeds and larger bandwidth capacity is needed to provide leisure activities too.

The leisure boat sector was initially hit hard by international lockdowns and is now incurring additional costs for deep cleaning, personal protective equipment, virus testing etc which are not generally reflected in the charter fees. As a result, systems which allow to optimise bandwidth consumption in order to reduce expenses on communication are proving popular with consumers looking to install or upgrade yacht connectivity systems.

Gwenael Loheac, chief executive officer Western & Southern Europe for IEC Telecom said: “Data traffic on leisure vessels has increased during this crisis period because crew, vessel operators and passengers need to exchange information on a more regular basis. In response to COVID-19, we are seeing increased demand for flexible tariffs to enable leisure vessel operators to adapt quickly to fluctuating connectivity requirements. Fortunately, we are well-placed to meet these needs, having a wide portfolio of solutions designed to provide best user experience, while keeping communications costs at bay.

IEC Telecom recently launched OneGate Marine Compact, a new lightweight digital solution with a network management system which provides full visibility over on-board network assets (both satellite and GSM) and enables vessel owners to control expenses and optimise consumption via a digital dashboard.

Mr Loheac commented: “OneGate Marine Compact was developed to cater to all major requirements of the leisure boat sector – addressing their needs for speed, bandwidth and cost optimisation. OneGate Marine Compact is an agile, lightweight, highly-adaptable and easy-to-install digital communications system which gives complete access to the benefits of digital connectivity even on smaller vessels. At this challenging time this system is providing many of the answers yacht owners need to enable them to conduct online business and leisure activities safely and securely.”

Friday, 04 September 2020 10:33

BV completes trial of remote surveys

Bureau Veritas (BV) in Singapore, in collaboration with Nokia and Sembcorp Marine, has successfully completed remote surveys during the COVID-19 pandemic that pave the way for establishing a new class procedure for the remote inspection of vessels under construction.

Gizat Global Communication has signed an agreement with Aura Air to bring an innovative smart air purity solution to the maritime market in a bid to tackle pollution and the spread of bacteria onboard ships. The solution has proven a 99.9 per cent effectiveness against COVID -19.

Navis a part of Cargotec Corporation, has announced that Global Container Terminals (GCT) New York has gone live with Navis N4. The terminal upgraded its TOS during the pandemic and completed the go-live via remote assistance from the Navis team.

Monday, 17 August 2020 13:45

TORM reports strong first half of 2020

Danish shipping company TORM has reported a strong market during the first quarter which continued into the second quarter of 2020, resulting in the strongest half-year since 2008.

“Distance learning is a useful modality which helps achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, president of the World Maritime University (WMU) told an audience of webinar listeners recently.  

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