SAFETY4SEA: Your organization has been shortlisted for the 2018 SMART4SEA Awards in the ‘e-Navigation’ category alongside a number of other distinguished nominees. What would you like to share with industry’s stakeholders with respect to this development?  

Tor Svanes: NAVTOR doesn’t develop the solutions we want. We deliver the products and services the industry needs. Our Passage Planning module, for which we’ve been nominated for the prestigious SMART4SEA e-Navigation award, illustrates that.

Passage Planning is a huge administrative burden for vessel officers and a massive man-hours inefficiency when multiplied across fleets. NAVTOR spoke to 16 different shipping companies before we started development, listening to their experiences and understanding their needs. On average Passage Planning took up 3.5 hours of valuable bridge time per voyage, with every one of those companies using Excel sheets to manually input required data. Their frustration drove our innovation.

In a development period that has taken four years, NAVTOR has created a Passage Planning module that slashes required administration time to just 30 minutes. Information is captured automatically, officer time is freed up for more important activity and, crucially, human error is eradicated.

It’s simple, efficient and safe – exactly what the industry needs. A Greek shipowner told me the other day that the module is “a miracle.” That demonstrates just how important this innovation is to him, his company, and the industry as a whole.


S4S: When it comes to tackling the smart challenges around the shipping sector, what are the core priorities on your agenda?

T.S.: Our core priorities today are the same as when we started the business in 2011. It is our mission to simplify navigational tasks and ease the burden of administration for officers, vessels, fleets and owners. In doing so we create greater efficiency, enhanced safety and total compliance.

The insights our technology delivers also helps owners and operators make better decisions, run more efficient businesses and reduce energy consumption. In that way we contribute to industry sustainability. And that, we believe, really is smart.


S4S: What are the key things to have in mind when providing e-navigation solutions for vessels?

T.S.: That one size doesn’t fit all. e-Navigation can provide benefits for all shipping businesses, but some are in a better position to adopt fully integrated complete solutions, whereas others, due to size or lack of communication capacity, may require a more streamlined approach.

We aim to provide a portfolio that ensures everyone can take advantage of those benefits, with products and services tailored to meet all our customers’ needs (e.g. with either Pay As You Sail or subscription ENC services). And of course, NAVTOR innovations work on all ECDIS, regardless of manufacturer.


S4S: Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans that you would like to share with the rest of the industry?

T.S.: New product development and research have been integral to our success to date, so we always have numerous projects underway. Key ones at present include our involvement in SESAME2, where we’re working with partners to develop a platform for automated ship reporting – addressing another key administrative challenge for the industry – and NavFleet.

NavFleet is a digital portal that will allow our customers to access all their NAVTOR products in one place, unlocking new insights thanks to in-depth data analysis. With information on, for example, vessel routing, fuel consumption, costs and environmental performance, we can deliver huge added value and help improve our customers’ decision-making processes. It’s a very exciting project.


S4S: What is your key message to the industry for enhancing the safety of navigation in the smart era?

T.S.: That technology can unlock enormous benefits for businesses, but you mustn’t lose sight of people. By that we mean a variety of stakeholders, but first and foremost the people on the bridge. Automation is increasing and autonomous vessels are approaching, at least for some segments, but there’s still a way to go. The value of having a qualified, trusted navigator on the bridge cannot be overstated – they are the cornerstone of safe operations.


You may cast your vote for NAVTOR at 2019 SMART4SEA Awards dedicated webpage till 21st of December 2018!



The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.

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About Tor Svanes, CEO, NAVTOR

Few people have been as instrumental in the paradigm shift that has taken place in the nautical chart industry as Mr. Tor Andreas Svanes. In the late 1980’s he participated in projects who largely defined the development of the ECDIS industry and the international standardization, and in the early 90’s he participated in projects that led to the adoption by IMO of the Performance Standard (PS) for ECDIS in 1995. Today, Svanes is the CEO of NAVTOR, a market leader in the provision of innovative e-Navigation solutions, services and technology for the maritime sector. The company has subsidiaries and distributors across the globe with Egersund, Norway being the headquarters.