• News

Maersk joins growing number of operators rolling out Starlink fleetwide

Written by Nick Blenkey
Maersk rolls out Starlink

Photo: Maersk

SpaceX’s Starlink high speed LEO satellite constellation is starting to look like a game changer for satcoms and for shipping. This week, Maersk announced that Starlink will be deployed across its owned fleet of 330+ container vessels with the roll-out expected to be complete in first quarter 2024.

The agreement comes after a successful pilot phase where crew members on more than 30 Maersk vessels have had the opportunity to test the Starlink technology – resulting in very positive feedback.

“We are excited to announce our journey with Starlink to provide state of the art connectivity to our sea going colleagues,” said Leonardo Sonzio, head of fleet management and technology at A.P. Moller – Maersk. “The high speed connectivity will enable our seagoing colleagues to stay connected with their loved ones while at sea. It will also propel the expansion of seamless cloud solutions, enabling our vision to digitalize our vessel operations.”

Besides obvious benefits from high speed internet resulting in seamless streaming and high definition videocalls for crew members, says Maersk, high-speed, low latency internet will also facilitate cost saving measures by moving business critical applications into the cloud and by strengthening remote support and inspections of the vessels.

“A.P. Moller – Maersk’s vessels are key to global trade, and Starlink’s high-speed broadband through the world’s most advance satellite internet constellation will help boost efficiency through seamless connectivity no matter where in the world they are,” said Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s vice president of Starlink commercial sales.


Starlink at Anglo Eastern
Photo: Anglo Eastern

Maersk is the latest of a growing number of vessel operators rolling out Starlink after trying it and liking it. Others include Hong Kong headquartered ship management giant Anglo Eastern which in September celebrated the 100th installation of Starlink within its managed fleet, saying that it has seen an overwhelmingly positive response in respect of both operations and crew wellbeing.

“We now have Starlink-equipped vessels operating in every corner of the world and we are delighted with the service,” said chief information officer Torbjorn Dimblad. “We consistently experience internet speeds exceeding 100 Mbps everywhere that Starlink is available”.

“Starlink-equipped vessels in the Anglo-Eastern fleet have 90% fewer connectivity-related issues,” he added. “The connection speed has also enabled 30% faster resolution of IT support issues, marking a paradigm shift in the way we operate.”

Dimblad’s report of consistently seeing 100 Mbps speeds is worth noting. Back in June, as Anglo Eastern started its Starlink roll-out after trialing the service on a number of ships, he noted that “part of our digitalization journey was to standardize our hardware on board. Since 2020, we have commissioned over 600 data centers and replaced 5,000 workstations across the fleet. The underlying infrastructure is now in place to leverage the accelerated connectivity.”

At the same time, he said satellite service providers have reported significant increases in the demand for bandwidth, fueled by the pandemic as well as new technology solutions on board.

“Starlink adds terabytes of network capacity, with low latency at a competitive price,” he said. “In terms of actual data, ships installed with Starlink have reported onboard speeds of 30 to 40 Mbps on average versus only 0.25 to 2 Mbps by VSAT.”

Meantime, SpaceX keeps adding Starlink capacity, its latest launches being second generation Starlink satellites, which have four times more capacity than the first generation.


Starlink is also, of course being widely deployed in the cruise industry, where American Cruise Lines was an early adopter. The cruise industry giants are also rolling it out rapidly — which is not that surprising given that their guests are used to being charged for internet access. A look at cruise fan sites indicates that many guests are more interested in when Starlink will be available than in what additional charges, if any, that will mean.

Categories: News Tags: , , , , , , , , ,