A STRATEGIC approach to connectivity at sea could influence the outcome of the shipping industry’s decarbonisation efforts, a new report suggests.

Global satellite communications provider Inmarsat and maritime innovation consultancy Thetius explore the advantages of strategic connectivity in The Network Effect, published this week.

The report encourages shipping companies to adopt connectivity strategies across business IT, crew and operational networks.

The benefits of such a strategy, according to the report, include voyage and port-call optimisation, emissions reduction, condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance.

It also outlines advantages for trade facilitation, seafarer welfare and training, remote surveys and pilotage and telemedicine services.

Matthew Kenney, director of research and consulting at Thetius, said connectivity and data are indispensable to shipping company competitiveness as regulatory requirements evolve.

“However, simply purchasing data is no longer enough,” Mr Kenney said.

“If shipowners are to reap the full rewards of operational optimisation, decarbonisation and a loyal and talented crew the right connectivity strategy is essential.”

Inmarsat Maritime president Ben Palmer said a good connectivity strategy relies on an understanding of technologies that can help reach business goals.

He said it also involves understanding factors such as resource availability and investment requirements.

“In that sense shipping is no different to any other industry: collecting, collating, analysis and harnessing the value of data relies on resilient, reliable, secure, globally available connectivity services,” Mr Palmer said.

“It is also critical to recognise that implementing a connectivity strategy is a continuous and iterative process that requires constant monitoring, frequent reassessment, and regular feedback from internal and external stakeholders.

“As this report makes clear, this is both necessary and highly valuable to modern shipping operations both in terms of driving competitive advantage and addressing decarbonisation goals.”