Thome opened an operations hub in Singapore and computer-based training facilities in the Philippines in 2017 to improve ship and fleet management services
Thome Group has adopted digitalisation with a new operations hub at its offices in Singapore to ensure that it embraces the latest technologies in ship and fleet management. It includes technical systems to support remote tracking of individual ships in the fleet, passage planning, security risk assessment and weather routeing and is intended to improve situational awareness for Thome’s management teams.
According to Thome Group president and chief commercial officer Claes Eek Thorstensen it also enables video conferencing with seafarers on the ships, integrated vessel management and onboard security remote monitoring.
“We now have an even closer control of our managed fleet, offering our clients up-to-date information and even greater improvements in our shipmanagement services,” he told Marine Electronics & Communications. He expects the monitoring capabilities will save time and improve operational efficiencies.
It also has safety implications. “In times of emergency we can react much more quickly and get faster and more accurate information about the situation in real time,” said Mr Thorstensen. “This allows our crisis teams to make informed decisions on how to resolve any issues.”
Thome designed this operations hub to ensure its staff remain alert and are able to react quickly to situations while monitoring specific operational aspects of the fleet. There are height-adjustable ergonomic tables and chairs, air-conditioning that is independent from the rest of the building, anti-glare screens and dimmable lighting. Operation teams use 10 anti-glare 55-in screens that are combined to form a video wall of 6.1m in length and 1.3m in height to monitor fleet operations.
The room provides various systems to track Thome’s managed ships around the globe, monitoring such things as the weather and onboard warnings and making security zone assessments. There are devices for contacting masters to obtain more accurate and updated information and video conferences can be held with crew.
The tracked information of each vessel can be updated to the control room every 30 minutes or in a few hours, depending on the location of the vessel or if it needs to be under closer monitoring.
Thome chief executive Olav Nortun expects the group will invest to increase the operations hub’s capacity as demand for data analytics increases. “The close monitoring of our managed fleet is essential for us to help optimise our operational efficiencies and further improve our shipmanagement,” he said.
Thome has also invested in training seafarers on board the ships that it manages. In 2017, it opened a modern training facility in Makati City, in the Philippines, for training seafarers and cadets on equipment and machinery that they would encounter once on board. Mr Nortun said Thome invested in these training systems as it reduces the risk of onboard accidents, motivates seafarers and improves teamwork.
The Makati City facility can accommodate up to 50 seafarers and cadets. It has 10 standalone training computers and workshops for teaching seafarers how to operate engineroom and auxiliary equipment, supplied by companies such as Framo, Yanmar, Scanjet and Alfa Laval.
Mr Thorstensen explained that Thome has adopted digitalisation practices to improve shipmanagement, including automating processes to reduce manual work and improve access to operational information.
It introduced ECDIS to improve navigation and reduce administration tasks on board, but Mr Thorstensen confirmed it had also increased safety and reduced the risk of groundings, thanks to its continuous position monitoring and user-specific alarms and settings.