With the news that the Russian Federation is the latest Flag State to approve the use of ADMIRALTY Digital Publications (ADP) on board its vessels, over two thirds of the world’s Flag States have now signed up to receive digital updates from the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO).
The transition to digital navigation is well and truly in progress and Thomas Gunn, part of the Global Navigation Solutions (GNS) Group of specialist providers of maritime navigation information, solutions and support, is seeing the trend reflected in its own business, with an increase in the number of fleets embracing the digital transition in the last few months.
“Thomas Gunn has now supplied more than 1,000 vessels worldwide with ADP,” says Colin Stephenson, Digital Manager for Thomas Gunn Navigation Services. “We have at least 20 fleets currently trialling the system, with new enquiries from around the world every day. In addition we are seeing more and more ship operators taking advantage of the ability of our Voyager digital chart management system to deliver ADP updates, which enables them to manage all their navigation needs through a single common intuitive interface.
Mr Stephenson sees the change as positive. “These fleets are moving from a time consuming labour intensive paper process which essentially hasn’t changed since sail, towards a powerful system which not only offers the essential trinity; Total Tide; List of Lights and List of Radio Signals; but also interprets them in a way that ensures more flexibility than hard copy and removes the admin burden from the professional navigator.
“In the drive for efficiency crews can be put under a great deal of pressure, an issue eased by technological solutions. In the past one of the greatest barriers to change was Flag State approval, and so we are delighted to see the momentum increasing and the vast majority of Flag States accepting the new technology with the benefits it brings.”
When asked why these operators have chosen a GNS company as their partner at this important stage in their business development, Colin explains, ”Fleets are looking for two key elements; a partner with a depth and breadth of knowledge of digital navigation technology; and one they can trust to provide – and support – the right business solution. Thomas Gunn offers that combination and has built a reputation for expertise and proficiency in this field. Our use of cutting edge technology, ably demonstrated by the industry leading new Voyager 4, gives clients confidence that the solution they choose will continue to evolve and expand in line with their business needs and market expectations.”
Thomas Gunn, October 22, 2013