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International ECDIS PLUS Seminar Takes Action on ECDIS

Attended by 130 shipowners, managers and members of the Asian maritime community including representatives from AET Ship Management, Anglo Eastern, NYK and Thome, Make It Happen 2011 demonstrated how Kelvin Hughes is providing a real solution for the international shipping industry in preparation for the start of the ECDIS Mandate which is now less than a year away.

Opening the Seminar Russell Gould, CEO Kelvin Hughes explained the importance of Singapore as a venue for this, the first event in a series that will continue throughout 2011 and into 2012, describing Asia as a growing, vibrant market. He said:
‘Over the past couple of years, the Mandated carriage of ECDIS has enabled us to devise yet another innovation to offer our customers, which leverages all aspects of our business, providing a unique solution from a company with over 250 years experience serving the mariner. That product is ECDISPLUS’.

Keynote Speaker Dr Parry Oei, Chief Hydrographer from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, opened the seminar with a presentation that looked at the long term advantages of ECDIS and told the delegates 'ECDIS and ENCs have taken us into a new era of navigation. ECDIS is here to stay'.

Dr Oei went on to say that he believes that in terms of ECDIS, it is essential that ship managers, owners and operators understand the training requirements, and make the right choices when it comes to choosing hardware and data suppliers.

That sentiment was echoed by Jason Scholey from UKHO who talked about the importance of official data and agreed that 'ECDIS is just the start', adding that ECDIS ensures not just better voyage management, but better Fleet management.

Mark Broster from ECDIS training specialists ECDIS Ltd talked about the importance of current, appropriate, relevant training with his presentation sparking a number of questions from the audience, with many concerned about the implications of Type-Specific training and the growing number of CBT courses available.

With standards of ECDIS training differing greatly across providers, Mr Broster stressed the point that ships’ personnel not appropriately trained face the risk of making poor decisions of an operational, technical and safety-critical nature.

V Ships’ Head of Seafarer Training Alasdair Ireland said that he was delighted to see Kelvin Hughes taking positive action on ECDIS and providing the answers to the questions he posed about the challenges for ship owners and operators in the adoption of ECDIS and its widespread use.

Responding to the external speakers, Steve Mariner, Business Development Director Kelvin Hughes talked about ECDISPLUS and its unique capability in presenting one integrated solution, adding that 'ECDIS is about more than just the equipment'. To emphasise the point, he covered the updating of navigational data, global service and training amongst other subjects.

Mr Mariner summed up by telling the gathered audience that in order to be effective, ECDIS needs to be implemented as part of a complete solution. This sentiment was echoed by Clarence Khoh, General Manager Far East, Kelvin Hughes Singapore, who said that in the 'daily data challenge' that faces a vessel, an integrated solution that includes data, hardware and outfit management can reduce cost, workload and risk.

Following a lively panel discussion and a number of live ECDIS and ChartCo demos, Russell Gould said in his summing up: ‘Kelvin Hughes is the world's largest supplier of navigational information and through ChartCo, is the biggest distributor of electronic navigational data direct to ships at sea’. He continued ‘This, coupled with Kelvin Hughes' innovative ECDIS hardware forms the cornerstone of ECDISPLUS’.

Mr Mariner stated that ‘the huge interest that this seminar has created demonstrates the appetite from the maritime industry for a solution from an innovative and well respected provider such as Kelvin Hughes’. He went on to say that ‘this seminar is the start of a rolling campaign of events that will take the unique ECDISPLUS solution around the world, the next being held in Greece in late September’.

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