NYK trials Starlink for vessel connectivity

Japanese shipping giant NYK reports that its has conducted a trial of the Starlink satellite communication service from Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, with the service implemented on a ship managed by NYK Shipmanagement (Singapore).

The trials were conducted on a container vessel travelling along the North American continental coast, and the company notes that it recorded significantly higher transmission speeds on the communications link than using its previously available systems.

“NYK aims to maintain and improve seafarers’ work motivation by expanding their benefits by facilitating communication between seafarers working on board and their families and friends ashore,” the company said, in a statement.

“In addition, videoconferencing between vessels and land facilitates conventional business communication that relies on emails and telephone calls, contributing to safe operations by providing a real-time onshore support system in the event of equipment failure or trouble, or remote medical treatment for seafarers.”

“Introducing the Starlink service will enable us to realize the autonomous navigation technology we are currently working on, share weather and marine weather information between vessels and land in the sea area they sail through, and further promote DX (digital transformation of) onboard operations.”

NYK says that it plans to work with various partners to examine other potentially beneficial use cases based on higher ship-shore communication speeds, while paying close attention to mitigating any increased cyber risk.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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