Metrostar uses Fleet Xpress and Infinity to ready its vessels for shipping’s era of digitalization

609 678 Navarino

Metrostar Management  is an Athens-based ship operator. The company manages four sophisticated tankers (two product tankers and two oil tankers). In this interview their IT Manager, Mr Matthew Maheras, explains how the company is using both Fleet Xpress and the Infinity Cube from Navarino to enhance their communications and lead Metrostar vessels into the digital age.

‘All of our vessels have Inmarsat Fleet Xpress, comprised of the Intellian V100 antennas combined with Furuno Fleet Broadband 500s.  We use Iridium Citadel installations for back up. We have also put Infinity Cube in place to help us manage the available bandwidth and optimize the way it is used across separate business, crew, and operational technology networks.

We chose a Fleet Xpress CIR plan which gives us 1 MBp/s download and 256 kbp/s upload speeds. The reason we chose this CIR plan rather than the MIR only plans is that we feel the CIR plan, with its guaranteed minimum speed, was important to enable us to use various Operational Technology and advanced ‘Internet of Things’ solutions that help us run our vessels and our business more efficiently.

For example, one way that we use the high speed, reliable bandwidth of Fleet Xpress is for Kyma performance monitoring. This gives us, among other things, a near real-time overview of fuel consumption via automated reports which allows us to make adjustments quickly where needed. Furthermore it is a very useful tool when charterers ask for, or question, the fuel performance of our vessels.

We use Navtor over Fleet Xpress and we have also been able to implement Office 365 onboard. Because it is an online service which on occasions might need around 2 GB of updates in a month, the fixed fee, unlimited bandwidth available over Fleet Xpress has allowed us to replicate the Office 365 environment that we work with in our offices on our ships too, which is a big plus.

In addition, our crews have benefitted from the higher bandwidth that Fleet Xpress provides as well. We give every crew member 200 MB of data each month for free, once they have used that they are able to buy more in 200 MB increments.

Like most of us, the crew ‘Bring Their Own Devices’ which allows them to stay connected using the exact same tools they use on land for news, VOIP calling and social media. They also use GTMaritime’s Mail4Crew, which gives them an email account that follows them across the fleet and daily news updates, which is popular.

Using the monitoring tools that Infinity offers, we are able to manage and control the content available to the crew at sea and we see that VOIP calling is what they use most of their data for. On average, our crew members use about 1 GB each per month in total.

Overall I would say that thanks to Navarino, Fleet Xpress in conjunction with Infinity has brought a whole new realm of possibilities to how we communicate with our fleet, both for operational, business purposes but also for our crews. We operate advanced vessels that are now ready and able to take full advantage of the ongoing ‘digitalization’ of shipping.’

We use Navtor over Fleet Xpress and we have also been able to implement Office 365 onboard. Because it is an online service which on occasion might need around 2 GB of updates in a month, the fixed fee, unlimited bandwidth available over Fleet Xpress has allowed us to replicate the Office 365 environment that we work with in our offices on our ships too, which is a big plus.

In addition, our crews have benefitted from the higher bandwidth that Fleet Xpress provides as well. We give every crew member 200 MB of data each month for free, once they have used that they are able to buy more in 200 MB increments.

Like most of us, the crew ‘Bring Their Own Devices’ which allows them to stay connected using the exact same tools they use on land for news, VOIP calling and social media. They also use GTMaritime’s Mail4Crew, which gives them an email account that follows them across the fleet and daily news updates, which is popular.

Using the monitoring tools that Infinity offers, we are able to manage and control the content available to the crew at sea and we see that VOIP calling is what they use most of their data for. On average, our crew members use about 1 GB each per month in total.

Overall I would say that thanks to Navarino, Fleet Xpress in conjunction with Infinity has brought a whole new realm of possibilities to how we communicate with our fleet, both for operational, business purposes but also for our crews. We operate advanced vessels that are now ready and able to take full advantage of the ongoing ‘digitalization’ of shipping.’