Provider of global mobile satellite communications services, Inmarsat, recently secured an agreement with Hapag-Lloyd, the sixth largest container shipping operator in the world by Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) capacity.
The five-year contract will see Hapag-Lloyd migrate all ships directly managed by the shipping line to services enabled for Flee Xpress. The agreement also covers five 10,500 TEU vessels as latest new builds.
Fleet Xpress has been around since just 2016, but Inmarsat asserts it sets a new standard in maritime communications.
The company says it enhances vessel efficiency, crew welfare and safety, and facilitates ‘connected ship’ applications by delivering the highest levels of reliable high-speed broadband connectivity available from a single supplier on a global scale.
The new contract is in fact just an extension of initial relations, as Hapag-Lloyd has been an Inmarsat customer more than a decade – the transition commitment to Fleet Xpress coincides with the expiry of a service contract based on FleetBroadband with VSAT back-up via Ku-band.
Within the agreement, the contract reflects the ship owner’s requirement for a fully managed migration to high-speed broadband and support it can trust from a single service provider.
“IT integration of our fleet has grown rapidly and will further develop,” says Jens Habler, head of Hapag-Lloyd IT operations management. “As a consequence Hapag-Lloyd has to ensure that the ship-to-shore connectivity not only supports the increasing demand, but is also future proof.”
The agreement also stipulates redundant service provision that would be scalable for any future fleet growth, and includes terminals from both Inmarsat approved manufactures Intellian and Cobham SATCOM.
“Hapag-Lloyd is recognised as one of shipping’s most advanced owners when it comes to IT and ship-shore connectivity, and for the close attention it pays in addition to keeping its crews connected,” says Gerbrand Schalkwijk, chief sales officer at Inmarsat Maritime.
“We look forward to working with the owner’s team to realise the potential of the fully redundant Fleet Xpress service within the Hapag-Lloyd office, vessel and service organisation.”