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Starlink: A success story

In a significant development for maritime connectivity, Odfjell and Flumar vessels have reported good results following months of testing with Starlink, the satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX. The vessels Bow Sirius, Bow Sun, and Flumar Brasil have been at the forefront of this testing phase, experiencing speeds as high as 160 Mbps.

From Left: Henrik Nepstad, IT Trainee, Vuong Phung, Senior System Administrator Corporate IT, Robert Karlsson, Captain Bow Sirius, Vidar Børve, Manager Electrical & Automation

The decision to trial Starlink came as part of an ongoing effort by Odfjell and Flumar to enhance communication capabilities onboard their vessels. The positive feedback received from these trials has led to a strategic decision to integrate Starlink across the entire fleet. Equipment for all vessels is delivered, with full deployment underway. Currently, 17 ships are already utilizing Starlink. 

“Starlink represents the digital highway that we need to accelerate the digital ambitions for our vessels and their operations. Among other benefits, our vessels will be able to operate the enterprise asset management system – the ‘SM Portal’ – with same or even faster response time than what we do at the office. As such, this move answers to the core of Odfjell Ship Management’s ‘vessels first’-doctrine. Our aim is to have the installation completed on all vessels by June this year.”

– Erik Hjortland, VP Technology

The inclusion of Starlink will be facilitated through an agreement with Marlink. This integration will complement existing communication systems such as VSAT, ensuring comprehensive global coverage for Odfjell and Flumar vessels.

The inclusion of Starlink as the primary communication carrier, with VSAT as back-up, promises to further bolster connectivity and resilience, critical factors for efficient operations at sea.

One of the primary benefits with increased internet speed onboard by using Starlink is the improvement it brings to administrative networks onboard. By leveraging Starlink for cloud-based applications such as SM Portal and Compass, crew members can expect a smoother and more reliable experience, enhancing productivity and operational efficiency.

Commenting on the decision to roll out Starlink across their fleet, Project Manager Vidar Børve underlines the technology's capabilities and its potential to meet the evolving communication on the vessels. Hjortland and Børve emphasize the importance of staying at the forefront of technological advancements to maintain competitiveness and adapt to changing market demands:

“This integration aligns with Odfjell’s commitment to further digitalize to streamline our operations and optimize vessel performance. The successful testing and subsequent integration of Starlink into the communication infrastructure of Odfjell and Flumar vessels mark a significant milestone for our vessels. With Starlink implemented, the future of connectivity at sea looks promising for our vessels.”

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