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Survey Shows up to 30% of Maritime Market Could be Ready to Fit VSAT Within 24 Months

June 7, 2011


Stark Moore Macmillan, and VT iDirect, Inc. released the results from the largest and most comprehensive maritime VSAT survey ever undertaken. The survey revealed that up to 30% of current non-VSAT users planned to conduct trials of VSAT within the next 24 months. Among other key findings was an indication that establishing a clear business case for VSAT would encourage greater adoption among shipping operators.

The survey measured the drivers and barriers of VSAT’s expansion in the commercial shipping sector by interviewing IT Managers, Fleet and Technical Managers, CIOs, and CTOs at 60 shipping companies, representing approximately 5,500 vessels, or 13% of the world’s commercial trading fleet of 1,000GT or over.

Key Findings

Commissioned by iDirect, the survey was conducted to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the commercial maritime market’s perception and adoption of VSAT. Among the key findings were the following:

  • Approximately 30% of the available market is considering VSAT within the next 24 months. Demand for VSAT services in the commercial maritime sector has increased significantly in the last five years and the survey indicates that this trend will continue.


  • Companies not considering VSAT cited cost as the primary barrier to adopting the technology. The survey provided insight into ship owners and operators’ weaknesses in quantifying the cross-business benefits that VSAT has brought, and can bring, to their organizations. The survey indicates that, if provided with the necessary tools and methodology to accurately evaluate cost savings and efficiencies derived from improved communications, a business case for VSAT can clearly be found and ship operators are prepared to make substantial investments in VSAT technology.


  • Nearly 80% of participants believe that VSAT enables access to new enterprise software applications that improve operational efficiency and business processes. The most popular applications being implemented or considered include enterprise resource planning, remote IT solutions, Sharepoint/Citrix collaboration tools, weather routing and video conferencing.


“There has been a lot of discussion about VSAT in the maritime industry but until now no comprehensive data upon which ship owners and operators and maritime suppliers can rely. The survey overwhelmingly demonstrates that ship owners and operators have begun to understand that their communications must be considered in the context of a strategic business investment, but that in many cases neither they, nor the VSAT suppliers, are able to easily produce the necessary business case. Were they equipped with the right methodology, VSAT adoption could easily accelerate beyond our predicted levels,” said Roger Adamson, Director of Maritime Business, Stark Moore Macmillan

“With nearly 30% of the market considering, or are ready to implement VSAT, the survey results indicate an immediate opportunity for VSAT in the commercial shipping sector. Sharing the findings will be of benefit to the maritime community as a whole by encouraging ship owners, operators and suppliers to focus on how they may go about quantifying the value of VSAT and its potential to improve maritime businesses,” noted Christian Bergan, Director, Verticals Marketing - Maritime, iDirect