Growing demand for cloud-based solutions and remote control in shipping has driven a Norwegian company to spend €1.6M (US$1.9M) to acquire a leader in these services
Oslo-listed Arribatec Solutions will acquire Italian IT company IB Marine Group to expand its services into maritime fleet management and remote control centres.
IB designs and implements advanced software for ship management and artificial intelligence (AI) for fleet control. It has developed solutions for remote management and operation of ships as the industry considers reduced manning and unmanned vessels.
Arribatec chief executive Per Ronny Stav expects this acquisition, to be implemented between 15 December 2020 and 15 January 2021, will open new opportunities for enterprise asset management solutions in maritime. “The potential acquisition will strengthen our joint offering to the maritime sectors, delivered as solutions and services to a high-potential pipeline of customers, and is key to our global growth strategy,” said Mr Stav.
“Our main target for 2021 is to expand our international operations, and an acquisition of IB Marine Group will be key to leverage our joint attractive offering to the maritime sector,” he said.
IB provides cloud-based services to more than 60 customers in 11 countries with over 10 000 users and has an expected €6M turnover in 2020. It has developed a remote ship monitoring system that displays all of a vessel’s functions in shore offices including information on fuel consumption, maintenance, vessel manoeuvring, route monitoring and voyage management.
IB is preparing to unveil a fleet control room prototype in Cyprus this month, which will be used to remotely control the technical and navigation functions of ships.
MSC Shipmanagement, Grandi Navi Veloci, Carnival Cruise Lines and Premuda are among shipping companies using IB’s InfoShip modules for technical ship and fleet management.
IB has also recently developed InfoTNS Technical Nautical Services software to assist tug companies in coastal and inland marine operations.
After the acquisition, Arribatec intends to open offices in Leer, Germany, and in Singapore, adding to the existing offices in Oslo, Liguria (Italy) and Miami, US.
IB chief executive Giampiero Soncini said this acquisition will “broaden the horizon of our reference market” and help “refine the quality of the IB software by being among the first to enter the field of AI applied to the marine industry.”
He expects AI technology will “revolutionise all the consolidated assets of maritime transport in the coming years.”
Mr Soncini is a former officer of the Italian Navy and chief executive of SpecTec Italia, which supplied fleet management software.
Elsewhere, maritime technology companies Voyager Worldwide and Baker, Lyman & Co have formed a partnership to supply voyage planning systems.
Baker Lyman becomes a reseller of Voyager Worldwide’s Voyager Planning Station onboard navigational software and V-Drive electronic navigational chart (ENC) updater.
This comes ahead of the retirement of the UK Hydrographic Office’s Admiralty e-Navigator planning station and ENC updating gateway and software on 29 January 2021.
Voyager is a cost-effective solution for the complex and time-consuming task of managing electronic and traditional navigation on ships, while helping compliance with safety management system procedures.
V-Drive provides a way to manage Admiralty vector chart updates, enabling navigating officers to plug the V-Drive into a USB port on their Voyager computer.
This will automatically download and transfer all necessary ENCs, updates and permits required to navigate safely along with the planned route to the V-Drive, so all this can be uploaded in the ECDIS.
Cloud solutions, AI and remote fleet management will be discussed in depth during Riviera Maritime Media’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week, 7-11 December - use this link to access details and register for these industry-defining webinars