Norwegian e-navigation specialist, Navtor, is expanding into fleet analytics with the acquisition of US software and ship performance company, Tres Solutions.

The result will be an integrated digital navigation and ship operating service platform enabling enhanced decision-making at sea and ashore, said Navtor ceo Tor Svanes as he announced the new tie-up on Friday.

Silicon Valley-based private equity firm, Accel-KKR, bought a majority holding in Navtor last August and is keen to see the company expand and diversify. The investor, with $10bn of invested capital, has made the Tres Solutions acquisition possible although terms were not disclosed.

Navtor claims to be a leader in the e-navigation sector, with products in operation on more than 7,000 ships. Houston-based Tres Solutions, set up in 2016, has performance analytics and optimisation systems installed on more than 300 ships. It has already established a sound track record on fuel savings, reductions in operating costs, and environmental efficiency gains which have demonstrated substantial returns on investment, Aaron Holton, the company’s president and ceo said.

Now, the acquisition provides wide opportunities for expansion. “Performance optimisation is key to a more sustainable business future, so it’s a natural progression,” declared Svanes. “We’ve been impressed by the Tres Solutions team and their development for some time, and now look forward to bringing an expanded suite of navigation and vessel analytics solutions to the market.”

Holton added: “Shipping companies are increasingly looking for a total ship operations platform, helping them simplify workflows, improve the speed and reliability of their operations, and facilitate better decision-making. In joining the Navtor family, our combined businesses will offer a unique full-suite platform, giving users one powerful source of truth for their fleet operations and analytics.”

One aspect of the tie-up that may appeal to many owners is the fact that the companies will offer a range of service options – from entry-level data collection to a “white glove service”, as Holton described it, pointing out that 80-85% of the world fleet is not yet fully connected and suitable for a sensor-based setup.

The Tres Solutions chief also noted significant interest from charterers as they seek more transparency in data collection and analysis.

Source: Seatrade Maritime