‘Now we can have remote access to our vessels and troubleshoot many issues without the involvement of the crew. We can easily transfer big amounts of data bi-directionally and avoid many delays on our projects.’ Almi Tankers S.A. IT Manager, Mr. Theofilos Vetsikas
How did Almi Tankers S. A. chose Fleet Xpress?
Almi Tankers had a big New Building project, which started at the end of 2011. We undertook to oversee on behalf of the owners the building of 10 Suezmaxes and 2 VLCC Tankers at DSME Shipyard in South Korea. In mid-2011 we had to select the primary communication method for these vessels based on the options we had at the specific period. We needed a reliable service that would provide global coverage to our vessels. We selected Inmarsat because they provided all of the above at a lower monthly rate compared to the other providers (V-SAT, C-Band). The other factor that made us proceed with Inmarsat was the FX project that was in progress and was expected to provide higher bandwidth and improved data services on board on top of the reliability of Inmarsat as a service provider. After the first installation of the FX system on board our vessel Almi Horizon we are very happy about our choice and plan to proceed with the rest of our vessels over the next 2 years.
Here at Almi Tankers our people on board are our #1 priority. Our commitment to our people is further demonstrated by improving the conditions of their stay on board and making them feel more comfortable. By providing to them better data services we make them feel better on board. Communication with their families and close friends is much easier and with many more options (video call, instant messaging with their own devices etc).
Apart from our seafarers’ satisfaction, we are going to use the bandwidth capabilities that the FX system provides, for the better monitoring of our vessel, and improve all the other services we already use (Electronic Charts & E-NP updates, File Synchronization etc).
How are high-speed communications changing the operations of tanker vessels?
It was 21 years ago when I took my first steps in the Shipping industry. All those years I have experienced many transitional periods, from Telex or Fax to Email service, personal emails to seafarers, Internet on board etc. I have experienced many models of communications (Inm A, B, Fleet, Broadband connections, Iridium, VSAT). All these changes have made our life easier. Now we can have remote access to our vessels and troubleshoot many issues without the involvement of the crew. We can easily transfer big amounts of data bi-directionally and avoid many delays on our projects. Higher speed of communications unfortunately includes many threats too. Vessels can be more exposed now and security measures similar to the ones we take on our premises must be applied on board also.
How you have worked closely with Navarino?
Navarino is considered as a strategic partner of our company. Since the establishment of our company we have trusted Navarino as the main communications provider for our vessels. The progress and the development of their products and services (Infinity) is impressive. The company structure and technical expertise of the people at Navarino makes us confident that we will have the proper assistance whenever needed.
Please describe also some of your thoughts about Infinity, how it has improved communications for business and crew usage?
We are a company that used the Infinity product from its first steps in the market. Through all these years we have followed all the developments of the product, which are impressive. People on board are feeling comfortable with the ease of use of the services that the product provides. It is also very important to have a team that will listen to your needs and develop them if they are reasonable. This flexibility of service is what made us invest further and also install Infinity Cube on our vessels.