Data usage on commercial maritime vessels has jumped more than threefold since 2019, according to new customer analysis released by Inmarsat, with container carriers leading the way in data consumption during the period.
Maritime satcom demand has continued to rise as commercial shipping recovers following the COVID-19 pandemic – with data usage among Inmarsat maritime customers increasing almost 70% in the 12 months to mid-2022.
Year-on-year demand for data was highest among container shipping companies, more than doubling (108%) in June 2022 compared to June 2021, while use of connectivity increased by 70% among oil tanker operators and by 47% on bulk carriers over the same period.
“Maritime data usage is a leading indicator of economic activity and international trade in the shipping industry, which carries 90% of all global trade,” said Ben Palmer, President of Inmarsat Maritime.
“More and more shipping companies are upgrading their satellite communications services and adopting new technologies for applications including route-planning, ship-to-shore broadband data transfers and to maximise fuel efficiency.”
“They are also ensuring that their crews remain connected with family and friends while at sea, the mandatory requirement now recognised by the Maritime Labour Convention. Our study shows data usage is on the rise among all commercial vessel types.”
Inmarsat notes that installations of its Fleet Xpress satellite communications systems have accelerated alongside this data consumption increase, with its installed base rising by 17% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to Q2 2021, to almost 13,000 ships, and with an order book of over 1,000 vessels to be fitted.