NAVTOR has announced a major upgrade of its NavStation software, introducing new features delivering enhanced security, usability, accuracy and efficiency for an increasingly digitized shipping industry. The solution, which originally launched in 2014 as the world’s first digital chart table, has been revamped to offer more seamless passage planning, faster and higher quality rendering of charts, even more robust cyber security, and better functionality for busy vessel navigators.
NavStation has undergone constant evolution since its arrival. A continual process of innovation has seen features including the much-vaunted passage planning (PP) module added (cutting PP administration time from an average of over three hours per voyage to 30 minutes) and last year’s integration of Optimum Ship Routing (from Weathernews Inc.). Navigators now have everything they need to take vessels from berth to berth on one seamless platform, while land-based teams get a new level of oversight and control. NavStation 6.0 takes this to the next level.
“NAVTOR works hand in hand with the industry to recognise challenges, understand demands and provide solutions that allow our customers to fulfil their business and operational ambitions,” comments Tor Svanes, NAVTOR CEO. “We now have products and services on over 7000 vessels worldwide, with customers in over 60 countries, and that really helps us ‘see through industry eyes’ and identify ways our digital innovations can deliver real world benefits.
“From both a navigator and owner/operator perspective we saw potential for NavStation to provide new efficiencies, security and data sharing, accelerating our customers’ journeys to more sustainable, cost effective maritime operations. We believe NavStation 6.0 sets a new industry standard and, when seen as part of our wider e-Navigation ecosystem, is key to enabling smarter shipping today.”
The new software has a number of stand-out features. PP improvements see the addition of parameters including overhead clearance and improved under keel clearance functionality, as well as the ability to activate the PP and share it with NAVTOR’s recently launched NavFleet monitoring and performance tool. This means shore-based teams (using NavFleet) have greater insights and control into vessel operations, allowing for on-going awareness and optimisation.
Security has been bolstered to protect data integrity, with more robust communication between NavStation and NavBox (the digital gateway, or hub, connecting vessels with organisations on shore). NavBox is certified cyber secure by DNV. Users benefit from the ability to create their own chart layers over ENCs on NavStation 6.0, populating them with objects tailored to their specific needs. Charts will also now look and function better, thanks to enhanced GPU rendering and smoother, faster panning and zooming.
Safe, simple, seamless
“On paper this is hard to visualise, but as a user experience, and shipowner tool, it opens up a whole new level of functionality and performance,” concludes Svanes. “We see this as part of our overall mission to make life simpler, safer and more efficient for customers. By providing more seamless connections, and sharing and utilising data more effectively across vessels, fleets and entire organisations, we provide a greater level of automation, optimisation, safety (with less human error) and compliance. At the end of the day that translates to competitive advantage for our users. And that really is a smart move.”
NAVTOR has demonstrated increasingly ambitious development plans since August last year, when Accel-KKR, a Silicon Valley headquartered operation with over $10 billion in capital commitments, took a majority stake in the business. Since that point, the Norwegian-headquartered firm has opened new offices in Germany and Denmark, bought Houston’s Tres Solutions (helping owners improve environmental performance and lower operating costs), and launched NavFleet and NavStation 6.0.
The firm, which opened its doors in 2011, now has a network of offices in Norway, Sweden, Russia, the UK, the US, Japan, Germany, Denmark and Singapore.