We are pleased to present an interview with Almi Tankers S.A. in which IT manager Theofilos Vetsikas explains the thinking that led to Fleet Xpress being chosen for their vessels.
Why did Almi Tankers S.A. choose Fleet Xpress?
– We had a big new building project, which started at the end of 2011. We undertook to oversee on behalf of owners the building of 10 suezmaxes and 2 VLCC Tankers at DSME Shipyard in S.Korea. In mid 2011 we had to select the primary communication method for these vessels based on the options we had at the specific period. We needed a reliable service that could provide global coverage to our vessels. We selected Inmarsat because they provided all of the above at a lower monthly rate compared to the other providers (V-SAT, C-Band). The other factor that made us proceed with Inmarsat was the FX project that was in progress and was expected to provide higher bandwidth and improved data services on board on top of the reliability of Inmarsat as a service provider. After the first installation of the FX system on board our vessel Almi Horizon we are very happy about our choice and plan to proceed with the rest of our vessels over the next 2 years.
-What are the main features of Fleet Xpress that Almi Tankers S.A. will use?
Here at Almi Tankers our people on board is our #1 priority. Our commitment to our people is further demonstrated by improving the conditions of their stay on board and making them feel more comfortable. Communication with their families is much easier and with many more options (video call, instant messaging with their own devices etc). Apart from our seafarers’ satisfaction, we are going to use the bandwidth capabilities that the FX system provides, for the better monitoring of our vessel, and improve all the other services we already use (Electronic Charts & E-NP updates, File Synchronization etc).
-What specific applications will Almi Tankers S. A. use with Fleet Xpress?
It is a transitional period for the market and many applications will be available to us either by the providers or many other vendors. For sure we are going to use an application for Cyber Security. We will soon evaluate all the options (Inmarsat UTM, Navarino Cyber Security app etc).
-How is high-speed communications changing the operating of tanker vessels?
Now we can have remote access to our vessels and troubleshoot many issues without the involvement of the crew. We can easily transfer big amounts of data bi-directionally and avoid many delays on our projects. Higher speed of communications unfortunately includes many threats too. Vessels can be more exposed now and security measures similar to the ones we take on our premises must be applied on board also.
-Please describe also some of your thoughts about Infinity, how it has improved communications for business and crew usage?
-We are a company that used the Infinity product from its first steps in the market. Through all these years we have followed all the developments of the product, which are impressive. People on board are feeling comfortable with the ease of use of the services that the product provides. It is also very important to have a team that will listen to your needs and develop them if they are reasonable. This flexibility of service is what made us invest further and also install Infinity Cube on our vessels.