Sat-Comms Said to Drop Operation Costs 10%

Thursday September 12, 2013

Satellite communications systems can reduce vessels' operating costs by as much as 10 percent, Frank Coles, president of satellite communications services company Inmarsat Maritime, told an audience at London International Shipping Week Wednesday, according to a company press release.

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

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

Coles said if ships instead increased that sum, which represents just 0.3 percent of a ship's running costs, to $100 per day, they could get unlimited email and data service which could end up reducing running costs by nearly $200,000 per year.

The possible sources of the cost reductions include fuel savings, performance improvements, lower port charges, insurance premium reductions, improved crew morale, and lower costs for remote IT repairs and support.

In an emailed statement, Coles said ship owners are seeking ways to improve their efficiency in the face of a tough market.

"Satellite communications are central to addressing these concerns and for opening up new options," he said.

Shipping line MISC Berhad (MISC) purchased Inmarsat systems for 46 tankers last year to improve internet and telephone service on the ships.