Hapag-Lloyd is rolling out Starlink satellite internet technology across its fleet, following a successful pilot phase.
Hapag-Lloyd is the world’s fifth largest container shipping line by TEU capacity, with a fleet of over 250 vessels including 122-owned ships, according to Alphaliner.
High-speed onboard connectivity has been proven to boost crew welfare, improve operational efficiency and safety, and helps companies attract and retain top talent. One report in 2018 showed that access to Wi-Fi aboard ships helps reduce some of the emotional stresses that come with long-stretches at sea. With the adoption IoT (Internet of Things) technology, reliable connectivity at sea will only become more critical in the future.
The Starlink network offers up to 250 Mbps bandwidth, facilitating not only personal use but also enabling remote maintenance and vessel inspections, resulting in cost savings and enhanced service.
Hapag-Lloyd crewmembers have tested Starlink technology on four pilot vessels since May. The company says feedback has been overwhelming positive, allowing seamless video calls and streaming services.
“We are very happy to provide our seafarers with Starlink’s high-speed satellite internet and thus to enhance their well-being on board. But also for Fleet Management the change in communication and connectivity will be huge,” says Dr. Maximilian Rothkopf, COO at Hapag-Lloyd.
With Starlink, seafarers can expect the same level of connectivity as they have ashore, including access to movies, television and video calls not only with family and friends, but also shoreside vessel support teams.
Others in maritime have had similar experiences. Hong Kong-based ship manager Anglo-Eastern is planning more 200 Starlink installations on its managed ships this year after an initial dozen vessels were equipped with the technology. MOL has also trialled the technology with positive results.
Hapag-Lloyd says the Starlink equipment rollout is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, with service activation starting in early 2024.
“Implementing the new technology to our fleet marks a significant leap forward in ensuring maritime connectivity and stands to revolutionize the way our seafarers stay connected while at sea,” says Donya-Florence Amer, CIO/CHRO at Hapag-Lloyd.
Hapag-Lloyd has also made waves as the first container shipping line to roll out real-time container tracking on its entire fleet of approximately 3 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers.
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