When NAVTOR introduced the concept of Pay As You Sail (PAYS) ENC subscription to the global marketplace in 2012 the e-Navigation specialist had no idea of the impact it would create. Eight years later PAYS is the standard model for a significant proportion of the industry, delivering seamless efficiency, flexibility and optimal value for savvy shipowners worldwide.
PAYS was NAVTOR’s first product. Back in 2012 the Norwegian e-Navigation specialist had just launched with a mission to simplify tasks for navigators; enhancing safety, compliance and delivering powerful business benefits for owners. PAYS encapsulated that drive, as company CCO Børge Hetland, one of the founders of the business, explains: “Up until that point vessels had to agree to traditional chart subscription models, based on set ENC cells and time scales,” he notes. “This was convenient for ships sailing set routes, for example ferries, but problematic for those with more erratic operational patterns.
“At the time these vessels had to pre-order the charts they thought they’d need, wait for DVDs to arrive or download them. The administration was time consuming and frustrating – not to mention very inefficient, especially when multiplied across entire fleets – and the wastage, as of course not every chart was used, was both expensive and unnecessary. “We thought there must be a better way of doing this.”
Transformational benefits NAVTOR had the bright idea of creating a subscription model where you only pay for the charts covering your vessels’ actual areas of operation. PAYS makes all digital charts from the most trusted databases (e.g. UKHO’s ADMIRALTY Vector Chart Service AVCS) instantly available for planning purposes (with no DVDs and lengthy downloads). Vessel tracking data shows which charts are used during voyages, with a charge levied for them but nothing else. In addition, onshore management teams get a clear overview of exactly which vessels in their fleet are using what charts, and how much it costs. The solution is transparent, efficient and very economical, with zero wastage. The market response demonstrated its immediate appeal.
“Launching any innovation into an established market represents a risk,” comments Hetland, “but in the case of PAYS people just instinctively understood it – the benefits were that clear and simple. As a result it really ‘took off’ becoming the core of our business from day one.”
PAYS now represents about 70% of NAVTOR’s ENC-based subscription business.
Smart developments “Shipping is an increasingly competitive business environment,” Hetland remarks. “Any savings owners can make in terms of OPEX and business efficiency/man hours can have a crucial impact on the bottom line.
“Everything we do at NAVTOR is conceived to give our customers a competitive advantage, while helping them sail with optimal safety, predictability and compliance. PAYS was the first step in that journey and it’s really paved the way for the success that followed. It’s great to see it’s still delivering powerful, tangible business and navigational benefits for our customers today.” Since launching PAYS, NAVTOR has gone on to introduce a full e-Navigation suite of groundbreaking innovations, including the world’s first digital chart table (NavStation), a unique Passage Planning software module (slashing vessel administration time), and the first type approved ‘cyber secure’ e-Navigation communication gateway (NavBox) for totally secure data transferal between ship and shore, amongst many other achievements.
The firm now has products onboard around 6000 vessels, with customers from well over 60 countries. “We believe e-Navigation will be the key to helping our customers successfully navigate the future of this industry,” concludes Hetland. “It is central to enabling smarter shipping and, with our dedication to innovation and service, we’re committed to getting our customers to where they want to be.”