ECDIS- On the Way to Cost Savings and Safer Navigation

Written by Saurav Chandra

With the introduction of the amendments to SOLAS regulation V/19 making the carriage of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) under SOLAS chapter V Safety of Navigation mandatory, as proposed by NAV 54, the BIG question now is how and when to implement the ECDIS and ’Paperless Navigation’ on board vessels. Waiting until the last applicable dates may seem to be an obvious choice but obvious choice is not always the best choice. Paperless navigation has proven to save costs (eventually), enhance safety on board and attract quality manpower. Can such factors definitely offset the cost of implementation?

The three most important concerns of a ship owner/ ship manager in terms of priority are the cost of operations, the safety of operations and the retention of crew. These concerns will be discussed in more detail below.

Cost of Operations
The single most important factor for a ship owner/ ship manager is to maintain his competitive edge in the shipping industry that is still recovering from the recession. The most common agenda point during any group discussion is the measures needed to reduce costs of operation. Thus incurring any additional expense that is currently not mandatory will have to be justified with sound logic. Costs can be subdivided into two categories, namely, direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct Costs 
With the implementation of ECDIS (paperless navigation), direct costs are known to decrease although it takes time because users have to gain sufficient competence in order to realise the full potential of ECDIS and the tools available in paperless navigation and therefore the benefits. There are elements of the system, for example, Pay as you sail, any chart anywhere anytime, and all charts updated at all times, that will ultimately eliminate the need to maintain worldwide or even regional folios, to send paper NTMs , and for other notifications in analogue form. All these and several other factors collectively have a potential to lower effective costs by as much as 15-20% .

About the author

Saurav Chandra

Belong to the league of designers who are responsible for giving this ship building industry most efficient and green ships. Responsible for design, construction and repair of merchant ships, boats, warships, submarines, yachts and offshore structures. Acquire the ability to analyse and interpret information and drawings, a creative and loical mind, sound judgement and team working skills with leadership qualities. Having work experience in both basic design and detail design of ships in india as well as abroad. Believe in good balance between more energy efficient design and environment friendly design.


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