Charting the course

Headquartered in Egersund, Norway, but with 20 offices located around the globe, NAVTOR is a supplier of navigational products and services for all types of vessel in more than 50 countries. Established in 2011, NAVTOR is the market leader in the provision of innovative e-navigation solutions, services and technology for the marine sector, with subsidiaries in St Petersburg (NAVTOR Russia LLC), Singapore (NAVTOR Singapore Ltd.), Japan (NAVTOR Japan K.K.) and Sweden (NAVTOR NAUTIC AB).

NAVTOR recognises that the shipping industry never stands still, and as such neither does it. The company is committed to finding new solutions, technology and ways of working that it believes can further enhance its customers’ user experience, performance and results. All of its products and services are developed in line with the company’s philosophy of simplifying tasks and increasing efficiency, making life easier for navigators, and safer and clearer for owners and operators.

Digital integration of navigational equipment has always been one of NAVTOR’s most important focus areas, with few companies being able to rival the experience and know-how its team possesses when it comes to integrating its own services and bridge manufacturer’s systems. The company achieves this through a combination of five core products, these being NavTracker, NavStation, NavBox, NavSync and NavStick. Together they make up NAVTOR’s e-Navigation Suite, which uses the most efficient e-navigation technology and delivery platforms.

NAVTOR’s NavTracker software provides users with an easy way to track, report and manage vessel and fleet movement, chart usage and chart update history. Available as PC software and as a mobile app, NavTracker ensures that both the onboard crew and management onshore have complete access to the latest versions of the required electronic navigational charts (ENCs) and up-to-the-minute tracking of individual vessels and fleets. It also allows users to generate various reports and operational data, including an overview of actual speed over ground (SOG), course over ground (COG), and total distance and time

NavStation is a package of software that can run from a standard, internet connected computer or through a 46-inch touch device, providing navigators with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. It includes access to an array of digital e-Navigation information, such as the UK Hydrographic Office’s Admiralty Digital Publications (ADP), which is incorporated as overlays on top of official ENC charts. In addition, integrated weather and routing functionality enables voyage optimisation using the latest weather data and tidal information, while detailed algorithms help navigators by generating enhanced maps and graphics for displaying optimal routes according to the parameters of minimal time, fuel and cost.

The three other complementary products are NavBox, NavSync and NavStick. NavBox takes on key administration tasks and can either be installed onto a PC or delivered as a hardware box for integration into bridge networks, automatically delivering the latest chart updates. NavSync is NAVTOR’s ENC service, which gives users easy access to the latest versions of nautical charts, while NavStick is a pre-loaded USB-based solution that acts as a bridge between the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) and an internet-enabled computer, providing navigators with the ability to instantly download global charts and ECDIS licenses.

In just six short years, the company has embarked on a programme of global expansion. This programme took a further step forward in March 2017, with the news that NAVTOR was to open its first base in the UK, recruiting Richard Northover to lead the office that is to be located in Somerset.

Upon announcing the news, NAVTOR’s Chief Executive Officer, Tor Svanes, described it as a natural step forward for the business. “We have a core mission of simplifying tasks for navigators, enhancing safety, and delivering increased efficiency for owners and operations. This is an objective that, particularly given current market conditions, has been very well received by customers worldwide. We already have a strong presence in Europe, but we see huge potential in the UK. This is, and has been for centuries, one of the world’s leading maritime nations, and we believe the demand for our unique technology and services is clear, strong and broad-based. The UK has always been on the chart for NAVTOR’s growth plans, and Richard is the right man to help us realise its business potential.”

Richard is very much a veteran of the maritime industry. Having begun his career navigating and commanding commercial yachts, he would go on to assume the role of UK and Ireland Sales and Marketing Manager at Brookes and Gatehouse. He later moved on to ChartCo and then Kelvin Hughes, where he was Regional Sales Manager. While there he developed a detailed understanding of delivering technical products and services that are tailored to individual customer needs. Most recently, Richard held the role of Commercial Manager at the International Centre for ENC’s, where he helped to increase market share and developed market-wide licensing specifications, thus cementing the strength of that particular brand.

“I’ve been working alongside and watching NAVTOR’s growth with interest for the past four years,” Richard commented. “It’s ability to develop innovative technology to simplify tasks and meet market needs has created a real stand out in the industry. In particular, the creation of NavStation, the world’s first digital chart table, and its market defining Pay As You Sail (PAYS) ENC service, convinced me that this was a team that was committed to maximising the potential and benefits of e-navigation.

“NAVTOR’s portfolio is second to none, and answers a clear market need here in the UK. I’m looking forward to spreading the NAVTOR name throughout the industry, creating awareness of its expertise, technology and the efficiencies, in terms of time, fuel and cost, it can enable for shipowners of every size and segment.”

Creator of e-navigation solutions
Utilising a pioneering e-navigation suite
Opening a new UK-based office