Change in mindset could reap major savings for maritime industry

Maritime industry leaders attending London International Shipping Week heard how ship owners and managers can achieve 10 per cent operational savings if they focus on the value of satellite communications rather than on cost.

In a keynote speech at the event, Frank Coles, President of Inmarsat Maritime, urged delegates to weigh up the cost of investing in improved satellite communications against the substantial benefits.

“The problem is people haven't always moved with the times and so may not know what's possible,” he said.

Current cost
“So, they'll look at their current cost, which is an average of US$25 per day, and seek a reduction.

“In reality, though, that's just 0.3 per cent of a ship's running costs. It's literally a drop in the ocean.

“However, if they were to increase that to just US$100 a day to take advantage of unlimited email and data, our figures show they could actually reduce the cost of running a ship by 10 per cent.”

Full potential
In monetary terms a vessel using satcoms to their full potential could cut running costs by nearly US$200,000 a year, Frank Coles claimed.

The potential savings presented to delegates come from a variety of sources, including:

• Fuel savings
• Performance improvements
• Lower port charges
• Insurance premium reductions
• Better crew morale and retention, and
• Lowering the cost of remote IT repairs and support.

He urged ship owners and managers to draw a comparison between how they hasten to equip their teenage children with a mobile phone, so they are safe and contactable, with their reluctance to invest in satcoms to keep in contact with a ship worth US$50 million or more.

Frank Coles was speaking at London International Shipping Week as part of Inmarsat's Platinum sponsorship of this year's inaugural event.