SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink is continuing to increase its presence in the commercial maritime sector with Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announcing a deal to roll out the service on more than 200 ocean-going ships.
MOL said it aims to have approximately 140 ships equipped with the Starlink system by the end of fiscal year 2023. In total, MOL is planning to deploy the service on 233 ocean-going vessels managed by MOL Group ship management companies.
The company said its decision to use Starlink is in recognition of the critical need to enhance the wellbeing of seafarers, especially due to the growing shortage of seafarers in the shipping industry.
Starlink will enable crew members on MOL-operated ships to access movies, television and video calls with family and friends back home, significantly improving their onboard communication experience and overall wellbeing. Starlink will also help enhance the digital transformation of maritime operations by enabling real-time information sharing between ships and shoreside support teams, improving operational efficiency, and providing support in case of onboard issues.
MOL had previously trialed Starlink on several vessels, confirming up to a 50-fold increase in internet speeds.
This announcement follows other major shipping companies’ plans to adopt Starlink. Maersk recently announced its intention to deploy Starlink on its fleet of over 330 owned containerships, while Hapag-Lloyd also aims to roll out the technology across its fleet, with activation expected in 2024. Anglo-Eastern, a Hong Kong-based ship manager, is also planning to install Starlink on more than 200 of its managed ships.
Monthly Insights from the Helm
Dive into a sea of information with our meticulously curated weekly “Dispatch” email. It’s more than just a newsletter; it’s your personal maritime briefing.