Less than a year after opening its first office in Asia, Norwegian e-navigation specialist NAVTOR is expanding in the region again - this time with a dedicated presence in Japan. NAVTOR Japan K.K. will help the firm, known for its simple, efficient and cost effective ENC distribution solutions, continue to roll out its European success worldwide, securing an important foothold in this key shipping arena.
“The importance of Japan to shipping, and to suppliers that serve the industry, can’t be overstated,” comments Tor Svanes, NAVTOR CEO. “The market is established, stable and mature, but at the same time defined by owners and operators that invest in state-of-the-art technology, while focusing on absolutely optimal efficiency and operational security.
“It’s an environment that is tailor made for NAVTOR and its e-navigation solutions.”
Since the launch of its ENC service in 2012, NAVTOR has rapidly emerged as a European leader in e-navigation, hitting the market with a series of products – such as NavTracker fleet management and NavStation, the world’s first digital chart table – that demonstrate its commitment to high-tech solutions that simplify navigator tasks, while enhancing safety, security and efficiency. In its home nation, for example, its ENC service has enjoyed such success that it is now used by over 50% of the entire Norwegian fleet.
Svanes’ ambitions for Asia are equally as bold. He comments: “We opened the doors of our first office in Asia, NAVTOR Singapore, in December 2014 and we’ve been pleased to see that the regional market has responded to the benefits of our products and services with the same enthusiasm as European owners and operators.
“As the IMO’s ECDIS Mandate continues its gradual roll out, the global demand for proven e-navigation solutions is booming. This is especially true in Asia, home to some of the world’s key shipping lanes. The industry here is very open to innovation, so the way our technology can drive efficiencies through the secure distribution of digital navigational data will be a very compelling proposition. We are sure we can make a real impact on the market here.”
NAVTOR Japan K.K. is led by Managing Director Hiroaki Kitano. The business was officially opened in a ceremony at the Norwegian Embassy in mid-September, attended by, amongst others, Svanes, Kitano, and His Excellency Erling Rimestad, the Norwegian Ambassador to Japan.
Kitano is an experienced figure within Japanese and Norwegian business environments, having previously worked regionally for SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). He will now be aiming to build both NAVTOR awareness and a local team, communicating the benefits of the firm’s uniquely user-friendly and high-tech solutions to the marketplace.
NAVTOR opens in Japan, from left to right: Tord Tukun, Minister-Counsellor at Royal Norwegian Embassy in Japan; Børge Hetland, Sales Director NAVTOR; Hiroaki Kitano, Managing Director, NAVTOR Japan K.K.; Naoto Nakagawa, Deputy Director, Safety Policy Division, Maritime Bureau at MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism); Erling Rimestad, His Excellency, the Norwegian Ambassador to Japan, Royal Norwegian Embassy; Koichi Miyahiro, Manager, Underwriter Group, Underwriting Administration Dept. at Japan P&I Club; Tor A. Svanes, CEO NAVTOR