Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has secured a significant new commitment to its Fleet Hotspot internet portal service, following an extension of its Fleet Xpress service agreement with leading liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) transport group Petredec. Fleet Hotspot has been designed by Inmarsat to give crew onboard access to high-speed connectivity with the freedom to use their own devices.
As the owner of one of the most modern fleets of specialised LPG carriers in the market, Petredec is a longstanding Inmarsat customer, which recently renewed its Fleet Xpress service agreement across 27 operational ships and extended it to 10 newbuilds. Part of the renewal saw the Singapore-based owner commit for the first time to Inmarsat’s fully managed Fleet Care maintenance, repair, and support service, and the Fleet Data IoT platform for data collection, transfer, storage, and analysis.
Petredec is also committed to the highest standards where crew connectivity is concerned and is a signatory of the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. The Inmarsat renewal led to trials of Inmarsat’s Fleet Hotspot service. Rather than having crew demand for connectivity compete with operational bandwidth, Fleet Hotspot offers seafarers internet access via a dedicated portal, with billing options for owners including separate Master Service Agreements.
Based on crew satisfaction feedback from a pilot Fleet Hotspot installation, Petredec is fast-tracking the adoption of the crew portal fleet-wide, replacing a previous crew connectivity service based on subscription. On completion, all 37 owned Petredec ships will be equipped with Fleet Hotspot, supported by the dual Fleet Xpress antennas on board.
“The powerful moral case for ensuring crews can stay in touch with friends, family, and the outside world has been laid bare during Covid-19, but there is also a direct link between crew happiness and retention of the best crews,” says Neil Giles, Fleet Technical Manager Petredec. “It’s a link that results in safer operations onboard multi-million-dollar assets, greater vessel efficiency, and business competitiveness.”
“We are pleased that Petredec will be expanding their commitment to crew welfare, safety, and operational efficiency through Inmarsat’s portfolio of services,” says Gert-Jan Panken, Vice President Merchant at Inmarsat Maritime. “The company is in the vanguard of shipping’s digitalisation journey and leverages technology to realise goals on safety, the environment, efficiency and crew welfare. Our experience is that early adopters of IoT-based solutions quickly see the benefit of measurable performance gains whilst the commitment to crew welfare boosts moral.”