Imagine you are engaged in a business with global reach, yet you have no access to e-mail, phone, or the Internet for stretches of time as long as several days or weeks: That’s the scenario that commercial maritime vessels have faced for years.
But all that is changing—and the shipping company Nordic Tankers is one prime example. The Danish company operates a fleet of nearly 100 chemical tankers, with vessels’ crew routinely at sea for weeks and months. Reliable contact with onshore engineers and facilities is essential for conducting the business of international shipping. The ability to connect with family and friends is equally important for crew satisfaction.
A rugged, reliable, and affordable satellite communications system is the key. Nordic Tankers uses KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service and TracPhone V7 hardware for its vessels, which regularly move through the waters of all world shipping routes.
“We decided to go online with our vessels, so they were just a phone call or e-mail away,” says Kurt Rye Damkjaer, Managing Director of Nordic Tankers. “We evaluated the market and found that for price and quality, the best solution was KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband and TracPhone V7.”
With the KVH system onboard, Kamkjaer reports multiple benefits. “We have been capable of maintaining the communications cost but now benefit from being online, which is a benefit to both the technical organization and to the operations,” he says.
Even better, the mini-VSAT Broadband service is keeping the crew in closer contact with family and friends. “Before we only had telephone, but now we have e-mail and online access all the time. We can send private emails 24 hours a day. It is very convenient for my crew,” says Dimitry Lavrov, captain on the Nordic Tankers vessel Clipper Leander.
Another advantage to choosing KVH’s TracPhone V7, which features a 60 cm antenna and weighs only 27 kg, is the fast and easy installation compared to the larger antennas common to other manufacturers’ satellite communications products. The fast TracPhone V7 installation vastly reduces the maritime equivalent of waiting for the cable guy, and when you consider that any time a vessel is in port for repairs or installation, it is missing out on revenue-generating passages, the advantage of a small, light, easy-to-install system is evident.
Technical matters are solved more quickly as well. “This broadband system has made communication and troubleshooting between the vessel and shore much faster,” says Technical Superintendent Claus Agathon, whose job is to support the Nordic Tankers vessels in all technical matters. “We can send pictures and files of the specific problems, making it easier to contact makers and get spare parts and service visits.”
See a KVH Case Study for more information about the choice Nordic Tankers and other shipping companies are making in favor of KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service and TracPhone V7 antenna.