92% of seafarers strongly influenced by internet access when choosing where to work

28 March 2018

The Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries and Intelsat, shows digital transformation underway in the maritime industry.

Roger Adamson, Futurenautics Maritime’s chief executive officer, presented to a London audience yesterday the key findings from his research organisation’s newly released Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI) and Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I). 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, more seafarers than ever have access to connectivity: Some 75% of seafarers can now use the Internet at sea, which is a rise of 32% or over half a million more crew (520,000, to be exact) since the last survey three years ago. Futurenautics Maritime conducted the first survey in 2012, in an effort to provide data of value to the maritime industry.

'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,' says Mr. Adamson. 'The Crew Connectivity survey is a clear demonstration of that process in action.'

The report’s findings show a change in mindset among seafarers regarding many aspects of connectivity. Among the key findings:

  • 92% of seafarers reported that Internet access strongly influences their decision on where to work, up from 78% in prior years.
  • 95% of seafarers view connectivity as having a positive effect on onboard safety, an increase of 72% since the 2015 survey.
  • 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.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, said: 'This important and timely survey shows that although the majority of seafarers now have good access to the internet while on-board, a significant number of seafarers still lack easy and cheap connectivity while at sea. The findings also provide an opportunity for the welfare sector to look at the future role of seafarer centres given that the report points to a be decreasing use of their facilities by seafarers.'

In addition to sponsorship by KVH and Intelsat, the report received support from leading maritime organizations BIMCO, Alpha Navigation, PTC, ISWAN and InterManager.

The report can be downloaded from the Futurenautics website, crewconnectivity.com.

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