Survey: Internet Access Key for Seafarers in Choosing Where to Work

With a rise in connectivity in the recent years, 92% of seafarers now reported that Internet access strongly influences their decision on where to work.

The number surged from 78% in prior years, as more seafarers than ever have access to connectivity, Futurenautics Maritime’s Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc. (KVHI) and Intelsat S.A., showed.

The report is based on a survey of 6,000 serving seafarers, the largest sample to date to complete the wide-ranging questionnaire covering onboard attitudes to the digital transformation sweeping the industry.

According to the report, some 75% of seafarers can now use the Internet at sea, which is a rise of 32% or over half a million more crew since the last survey three years ago.

“It’s our belief that collaborating and sharing information can accelerate the pace of transformation in shipping and maritime, and begin to understand and solve big problems,” Roger Adamson, Futurenautics Maritime’s chief executive officer, said.

“The Crew Connectivity survey is a clear demonstration of that process in action,” Adamson added.

The report’s findings show a change in mindset among seafarers regarding many aspects of connectivity. Key findings also include that 95% of seafarers view connectivity as having a positive effect on onboard safety, an increase of 72% since the 2015 survey, while 69% of respondents view the increasing use of big data and analytics as a positive opportunity for their jobs in the next five years, versus 17% who see it as a threat.

“This is an extremely exciting time for the maritime industry, as digitalization begins to transform ship operations and open up many opportunities to keep this industry vital,” Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer, said.

“This report further emphasizes the need and desire—from shipping crews to passengers—to have robust, flexible networks that enable always-on connectivity,” Shane Rossbacher, Intelsat’s director of maritime product management, added.

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