The latest trends in ECDIS technology that are shaking up the maritime industry

ECDIS Trends

With the August deadline looming for ship owners to have Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) installed on their vessels, our two-part article takes a brief look at why ECDIS was brought in, the key regulations behind it, the latest trends in ECDIS technology and what the future might hold for ECDIS innovation.

Last week we looked at the origins of ECDIS and the regulations surrounding it. This week, we move to the future and discuss new and exciting trends that are starting to emerge in the world of ECDIS.

What’s next for ECDIS?

The development of ECDIS is an ongoing process based on user needs, technology advancements and the constant drive to further navigation safety. Some of the latest, high specification products, boast fresh, innovative features and ground-breaking technology, so it’s not surprising that they are catching the eye of the largest shipping companies across the globe.

A one-stop-shop, integrated service

Sadly, some mariners still don’t have the option to buy all of the ENCs required for a voyage within a single, integrated service. For an increasing number of those at sea, however, getting the ENC’s they need is a breeze!

More advanced ECDIS systems, such as Martek Marine’s IECDIS™, is easy to operate and offers multiple chart update options, including email, DVD, and CD-ROM. Thanks to the system’s ‘Intelligent iChart Innovation’ there is no need to manually update charts. The newly patented 4G mobile antennae automatically updates charts every time the vessel enters dock, meaning charts will never be out of date, giving peace of mind that any unnecessary fines or punishments will be avoided.

Non-existent maintenance fees

It’s well-known that moving parts equate to on-going maintenance, which can be both costly and disruptive.

Some of the latest, expertly designed ECDIS products on the market, have no moving parts and therefore offer no ongoing maintenance fees. Martek Marine’s range of ECDIS products are designed to a rugged, military-grade specification for durability. Robust pieces of equipment, they are designed to cope with harsh maritime conditions. The systems even come with a top of the range, glare-resistant screen as standard.

Long term contracts? No thanks!

Traditional ECDIS products required a huge level of capital investment, topped off with a long-term contract. Reputable companies are starting to offer flexible payment solutions, as well as the option to hire the ECDIS package instead of buy it, meaning no up-front, capital investment is required.

Top suppliers are going the extra mile. Take Martek Marine, who are offering a free no-obligation project plan. Martek’s specialists carry out an assessment of a company’s requirements and write a detailed project plan, identifying exactly what type of ECDIS system is needed, what needs to happen and when, to ensure ECDIS is installed and crew are fully trained ahead of the compliance deadline in August.

What are you waiting for? Visit www.martek-marine.com/iecdis-electronic-chart-display-and-information-system-ecdis for more information. You will even receive a free iPlan ECDIS project implementation plan when you enquire using the online form!

Flexible training, rapid installation and comprehensive after-sales options

Customers want a full-service package when it comes to fulfilling their training, installation and after-sales needs, particularly when technical equipment & technology is involved.

Reputable ECDIS suppliers are offering a range of options to suit different customer requirements. Martek Marine offer flexible service packages and a range of optional extras, including comprehensive compliance reviews that are making things easier for shipping companies. Specialised training options which are delivered in a classroom setting, or on-board a vessel, are helping to maintain optimum productivity by limiting lost work time. System installation is slick, it’s both quick and easy, wherever the vessel is in the world and at any time.

Safer navigation through improved hydrographic data

It’s not just the ECDIS suppliers who are busy doing their bit to advance navigation safety, governments are playing their part too. Have you heard about the latest news surrounding hydrographic data?

Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of bodies of water and the land close by. The data is used in; nautical charts; sailing directions; lists of lights; tide tables and other nautical publications, with the aim of satisfying the needs of safe navigation.

All ships are required to carry “adequate and up-to-date charts” under SOLAS Chapter V (Regulation 20) to assist in navigation. In 1983, IMO adopted a resolution referring to the importance of the provision of accurate and up-to-date hydrographic information to safety of navigation and to the fact that many areas had not been surveyed to modern standards.

The Resolution was adopted after representation from the IHO, which had informed IMO of the inadequacy of nautical charts of many sea areas, due to dependence on old hydrographic surveys and noted that, in order to develop up to date charts for these areas, substantial technical co-operation would be required between developed and developing coastal states on a regional basis.

Contracting governments are therefore co-ordinating their activities to ensure that hydrographic and nautical information is made available on a world-wide scale as timely, reliably, and unambiguously as possible which will ultimately lead to safer navigation globally.

No time like the present

With the August ECDIS deadline looming, it doesn’t pay to bury your head in the sand! Visit www.martek-marine.com/iecdis-electronic-chart-display-and-information-system-ecdis for more information and contact our team today.