Klaveness Combination Carriers ASA (KCC) is undertaking a pilot of Starlink, a state-of-the-art satellite internet service provided by Marlink, to explore the potential of enhanced vessel connectivity. This move aims to improve digital collaboration and data exchange between shore and ship, which are crucial for KCC’s goals of crew safety/welfare and carbon emission reductions.
Starlink, unlike traditional VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) connectivity, employs a vast constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to ensure fast, low-latency, and high-capacity internet access even in remote maritime locations.
By piloting this technology, KCC envisions several applications and benefits for its fleet. These include enhanced collaboration between onshore and offshore teams during vessel operations, more efficient safety meetings, and innovative safety training through the Klaveness Always Safe and Secure (KLASS) program, which incorporates engaging gamification techniques.
Additionally, the improved connectivity will contribute to elevated crew well-being and entertainment, enabling better communication with friends and family and increased access to onboard entertainment options. Remote inspections will also be enhanced, building on the successful initiatives conducted by KCC in 2021.
Real-time sensor data and analytics provided by Starlink enable close monitoring of vessel performance, identifying areas for potential improvement and optimization. The technology also facilitates the adoption of digitalization, optimizing processes and enabling data-driven decision-making.
As the maritime industry increasingly adopts IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the need for increased bandwidth on vessels becomes crucial. Starlink empowers the use of emerging technologies by delivering the necessary bandwidth.
Moreover, streamlined cargo swap and hull cleaning documentation procedures save time, and expanded support for larger video and image file sizes simplifies document handling processes.
KCC has already installed Starlink on the CLEANBU vessel MV Baru, starting in September 2023, and is currently outfitting the CABU vessel MV Ballard. KCC is a world leader in combination carriers, with a fleet of eight CABU and eight CLEANBU vessels, along with three new CABU vessels under construction for delivery in 2026. These combination carriers are designed for the transportation of both wet and dry bulk cargoes, optimizing efficiency by minimizing ballast use and emitting up to 40% less CO2 per transported ton compared to standard tanker and dry bulk vessels.
Marlink’s hybrid network, combining global satcom and terrestrial technologies through a proprietary global infrastructure, supports the implementation of Starlink on KCC’s vessels.