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Hartmann seals connectivity upgrade deal with Marlink

Hartmann will upgrade its VSAT connectivity and take advantage of new value added digital services from Marlink. Hartmann will upgrade its VSAT connectivity and take advantage of new value added digital services from Marlink.

German Hartmann Shipping Services has signed a major new service upgrade agreement with Marlink that will see Hartmann move from an allowance-based VSAT connectivity to an unlimited Committed Information Rate (CIR) service.

The move will enable the shipping company to take the next step into digitalisation of its services, which include technical and commercial management to a fleet of 62 modern owned and third party ships, comprising gas tankers, container vessels and bulk carriers.

In addition to enhanced connectivity, the new agreement will see Marlink increase its provision of value added digital services including remote access for onboard IT network and OEMs into shipboard systems via its XChange Universal Remote Access.

A separate network for crew will enable seafarers to access Marlink’s XChange Media service, enjoying dedicated news and information in local languages as well as international to improve crew wellbeing and provide them with accurate sources for news distribution.

With increasing complexity of applications across multiple networks, Hartmann has also considered proactive cybersecurity compliance, implementing Skyfile Antivirus Premium, XChange Data Manager Premium and Cyber Detection solutions as well as IT LINK Monitor for onboard IT management. Together with Marlink’s standard security devices already implemented, this will help Hartmann Reederei to align with upcoming IMO 2021 regulations.

IT LINK monitor provides a managed service that removes the burden of IT compliance from crew, enabling shoreside IT departments to monitor the whole IT infrastructure onboard each vessel. This can be expanded with a software distributor which allows to update networks and software updates remotely.

In addition, shore side receives regular management reports which provides a simplified process for understanding bandwidth consumption and network usage.

“Our operations cover the entire value-added chain of shipping and work closely with national and international partners, relying on a solid reputation to achieve high standards of quality,” said Mr. Ulrich Adami, managing director, Hartmann Reederei. “Marlink’s services provide the foundation for a new chapter in our history as we further digitalise our fleet, improve our operational profile and achieve cyber compliance.”

“Hartmann Reederei recognises that the modern ship operator needs a suite of smart solutions that seamlessly connects people and assets around the globe,” said Tore Morten Olsen, president, Maritime, Marlink. “By choosing to upgrade its services with Marlink, we can support Hartmann’s digital enablement strategy to the benefit of the business and the crew.”

Related items

  • How much does a merchant ship pay for its VSAT communications?

    Many years ago and in another industry, not so distant from maritime connectivity… I wrote a piece providing viewpoints on “how much an airline would pay for an early release movie (early window content is the industry term). The piece got me into a considerable amount of bother, writes Joshua Flood, senior research consultant at Valour Consultancy.

    The fundamental issue being how secretive these negotiations were and Hollywood studios, airlines and their content service providers did not wish to shed any light upon the subject. Or I was terribly wrong in my viewpoints. I will stick to the former point.

    Now after many years elsewhere, (similar to Yoda in swamp planet of Dagobah), I have decided to return to one of my favorite types of pieces.

    To push myself further, I plan to write a series of pieces talking about how each type of commercial vessel (merchant, fishing, passenger, offshore and leisure) would pay for their connectivity solutions, typically VSAT and MSS.

    Merchant satellite subscriptions

    Addressing the title of this piece, merchant ships come in a number of shapes, sizes and purposes.

    Breaking out the merchant market from a bird’s eye view; there are roughly 150,000 MSS and VSAT satellite subscriptions in the market. This may confuse some, due to the popularly touted figure of 80-90,000 merchant vessels (depending on your source and classifications). Clearly, this number is less than the number of maritime satellite subscriptions.

    To quickly quash this, a significant number of large merchant vessels require multiple terminals for safety purposes. In addition, some vessels will also subscribe to a multitude of solutions for certain purposes. An example could be subscribing Ku-band VSAT services from Intelsat or Eutelsat, Fleetbroadband from Inmarsat and Certus from Iridium.

    Emergence of VSAT technology

    In the past, merchant operators were satisfied with just MSS (L-band) services, however, over the last decade the use of VSAT technology has become a dominant force within all commercial maritime vessels. There are around 20,000 VSAT merchant vessels active today.

    Looking into the key types of merchant vessels. There is an array of different variations. And when speaking about shipping, certain regions are known for their trade. Asia and Northern Europe for commodity and container vessels, as an example.

    Extra special LNGs

    One of my favourite research interviews of 2021 was with a Cypriot service provider. I won’t say which one or whom, however, it was most definitely one of my most entertaining.

    It was almost like having a conversation with the Cheshire Cat in Alice of Wonderland. I went through a list of vessel types with “the Cat” providing their average monthly airtime fees the company gets for connectivity airtime packages. Bulk carriers, a short grunt and allocated to the bottom of the list of data usage and associated ARPU revenue. MPP and ro-ro vessels followed in quick succession, just above bulk carriers. General cargo and container vessels pique his interest and were placed in middle position of the rankings. PCC and vehicle carriers excite Mr Cat further.

    Finally, we reached tankers, and LPG and LNG types cropped up.

    With a delightful purr, “Beautiful, Joshua! We love both, although LNGs are extra special. LNGs are our favourites!”

    I still chuckle at this answer.

    VSAT connectivity – let’s talk numbers

    Moving away from this abstract narrative, the merchant market is highly fragmented and different vessel types have a big difference in their respective airtime ARPU, depending on usage type, areas of coverage and congestion of such areas.

    In general, globally, the VSAT connectivity ARPU for a bulk carrier will just surpass $1,300 per month. An LNG tanker will be in the range of $3,000 to $4,000 per month with lucrative value-add service inclusions.

    As such, the customer type and their fleet of vessels are very important. Also, I will also state the more prestigious customers know how valuable their business is worth and therefore expect very good service and also heavy discounts. In fact, some prestige names are not as lucrative as some outsiders perceive.

    In 2019, Valour Consultancy estimated the average connectivity package per merchant vessel was around $800 (combining both MSS and VSAT services). MSS service per vessel are less than $500 per month generally.

    For Ku-band, this works out around $1,500 and Ka-band around $1,300. The latter will have gone up in 2020, too. For more information on the final point and our latest maritime connectivity research, please download our latest report brochure for more information here.

    Average Monthly Connectivity Revenues in Merchant Vessel in 2019

    MSS only

    <$500

    MSS & VSAT

    $800

    Ku-band

    $1,500

    Ka-band

    $1,300 (this will have increased in 2020 & 2021)

    Bulk Carrier

    $1,300

    LNG

    $3,000 to $4,000

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