The high seas are to become part of the Networked Society thanks to a partnership Ericsson and Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping company. Michael White, the President of Maersk Line in North America, outlines the real-time monitoring benefits the installation of Ericsson communication technology will bring to the company’s fleet – and its customers.

Ericsson mobile and satellite communication technology will be installed across the entire fleet of about 500 Maersk Line vessels – 400 of which will be completed in the next two years. Some of the Maersk Line vessels are among the largest to sail the oceans. The partnership also includes a seven-year global managed services support agreement, to include round-the-clock network monitoring and onboard maintenance services in several large ports.

With more than 90 percent of global cargo transport via ocean traffic, White says the deal with Ericsson supports the company’s ambitions to innovate and change the shipping industry.

"There are multiple operational efficiencies that can result from this implementation," he says. "We expect to have real-time access to information about vessel operation, bunker fuel consumption and electric conditions. We might even be able to monitor and prevent any difficulties in systems on board before they happen.

"But the single biggest benefit will come from our ability to proactively manage bunker consumption through real-time data. In this business, with the size of these vessels, the difference of even a few hours of real-time information could make the difference between cost and operational savings."