New strategic alliance to assist global financial institutions to better manage risk in maritime supply chains

A new strategic alliance between leading maritime fleet monitoring and risk management solution provider, Pole Star and PwC and is aiming to help organisations involved in international trade to better manage their legal and regulatory obligations.

PwC is working with Pole Star to explore new ways to assist financial services companies involved in maritime trade, including trade finance.

SOCAR Trading implements PurpleTRAC for its vessel compliance program

In October 2014, SOCAR Trading identified an opportunity to improve and streamline its compliance processes. When it came to sanctions compliance and due diligence for ships, SOCAR identified four key challenges to address and they set out to find and implement a technology solution that would give them the ability to screen ships before a voyage, track ships during their voyages and report on the due diligence performed on-demand, at any time of the day or night.

SOCAR Trading turned to Pole Star's PurpleTRAC screening and sanctions compliance solution. With PurpleTRAC, SOCAR Trading are able to manage sanctions compliance and due diligence throughout the full lifecycle from pre-charter sanctions screening to post-voyage risk analysis.

Pole Star awarded USCG LRIT ASP contract

Pole Star Space Applications announces that it has been awarded a prestigious contract by the US Coast Guard for the provision of LRIT ASP services.

"We are very honoured to have been awarded this contract from the US Coast Guard to provide LRIT ASP services in support of the United States’ National Maritime Domain Awareness Plan and wider National Strategy for Maritime Security program" said Julian Longson, Managing Director at Pole Star.

Pole Star announces its new cloud-based platform and services

Pole Star, a UK-headquartered technology company delivering innovative maritime application solutions, today announced the launch of its new cloud application platform, designed to facilitate the company’s vision to enable a universal maritime ecosystem.

The new Pole Star platform is a highly configurable, extensible and easy-to-use cloud application platform, built upon a powerful, robust and open API, and using enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure. With a wide (and expanding) range of services - from vessel tracking and SSAS management to maritime risk intelligence - all available on one convenient platform, Pole Star is enabling its customers to connect with their ships in a whole new way.

Pole Star to feature in ‘A Maritime Nation’ news programme

Pole Star is to feature in ‘A Maritime Nation’, a news-style programme examining the role and value of the maritime industry to the UK. The programme will be launched shortly before the bi-ennial London International Shipping Week 2015, at an exclusive event to be held at the UK Chamber of Shipping on September 3rd, 2015.

‘A Maritime Nation’, which is being produced by the UK Chamber of Shipping in partnership with ITN Productions, is an in-depth, online programme that will investigate the global issues facing the industry, the UK’s heritage and standing and the innovations and technology shaping the future of shipping. It will feature news-style reports alongside sponsored editorial profiles.

Julian Longson appointed Managing Director of Pole Star

Pole Star Space Applications Limited (UK) - a privately owned UK technology company that has been providing vessel monitoring, regulatory compliance & risk management services to the shipping industry since 1998 - today announces the internal appointment of Julian Longson to the position of Managing Director of the company.

Mr. Longson takes the helm as Pole Star launches its next generation API-enabled platform and embarks on an ambitious strategy to become the platform of universal maritime connectivity.

Pole Star & friends fundraising for the 2015 OSCAR Dragon Boat Race

London International Shipping Week 2015 is playing host to this years OSCAR Dragon Boat Race at the London Regatta Centre in the heart of the Docklands on Friday 11th September.

The event will unite companies from across the shipping industry to raise funds for life-saving research into childhood cancers and immune diseases. The OSCAR campaign is hoping to smash last year’s fundraising total and raise £120,000 for this fantastic cause.

Panama becomes first port state to use Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC service for sanctions compliance and risk management

The Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) has become the first port state to use Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC sanctions compliance and risk management service as part of its wider port risk management strategy and as a precaution against the outbreak of Ebola.

As part of the PMA’s risk management strategy, all ships intending to enter a Panamanian port are required to post arrival data via their agent into the PMA’s system. In an enhancement to that process, the PMA will use PurpleTRAC to screen port arrivals and Panama Canal transits to ensure compliance against a comprehensive range of economic sanctions and blacklisted ports.

New technology helps financial institutions manage their maritime risk

With 90 per cent of all world trade by volume and 70 per cent by value transported by sea, the maritime sector is the backbone of international trade and a critical global industry.

Yet the increase in international regulations and sanction policy, the emergence of new conflict zones and the rise of piracy and terrorism around the world means that financial organisations are increasingly exposed in this sector. Trade finance drives an estimated $14 trillion in annual global commerce, and the exposures of global banks in relation to shipping and related cargoes is high on the agendai. The consequences of sanctions breaches are serious, with many of the world’s largest banks having already been fined, and one of the world’s largest banks receiving an $8.9 billion fine this year.

Purplefinder goes yellow

Pole Star Space Applications, the architect behind the Purplefinder maritime tracking platform, is on the move. The move, which will take place at the end of October, follows recent office moves in Boston and Hong Kong as Pole Star continues to grow. Over the past 10 months, Pole Star has expanded its research and development team by over 50% and further investment in this area is planned.

Pole Star and Aage Hempel sign global distribution agreement

Aage Hempel, a leader in worldwide merchant marine electronic service and focused on 24/7 maritime sales and service, has extended their existing relationship with Pole Star by signing a global distribution agreement. Aage Hempel will offer Pole Star’s portfolio of products and services including Fleet Management, Alert Advanced Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), Marine Asset Tracker (MAT), and LRIT conformance testing services to their worldwide customer base.

Ghana vessel tracking system inaugurated

Ghana made significant inroads into the global maritime industry on 29th March 2014 when the President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, inaugurated Africa's biggest Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) at the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) in Accra.

The 16 million Euro facility, a collaboration between the governments of Ghana and Finland, now runs a Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system that can track vessels within a range of 1,000 nautical miles.

Pole Star announces launch of Fleet Management 2.0

Pole Star Space Applications today announced that Fleet Management (FM) 2.0, the latest release of its web-based tracking solution for shipowners, operators and charterers, has been rolled out free to its existing FM customers. With a new user-interface, new features and feature enhancements, FM 2.0 delivers improved usability and efficiency for its users.

“With the release of version 2.0, we have given FM a brand new look and feel. It’s more modern and easier to use than ever before. Plus, we have added some brand new features and enhanced some familiar ones.” commented Peter Davies, Chief Technology Officer.

Pole Star integrates Tidetech weather data

Pole Star, a leading provider of maritime monitoring and fleet tracking solutions, has announced today that it has joined forces with Tidetech and integrated the oceanography specialist’s meteorological data into its commercial marine services. Tidetech weather data has been rolled out to Pole Star’s Fleet Management, SSAS Alert Advanced and Marine Asset Tracker 2.0 customers.

Users of Pole Star’s commercial marine services will benefit from current and up to 7-day weather forecasts displayed as graphical overlays. Available weather conditions include sea surface temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction.

Pole Star and Risk Intelligence announce strategic partnership

Pole Star Space Applications, a leading provider of realtime asset tracking and monitoring solutions, and Risk Intelligence, a security and piracy intelligence specialist, have today announced their strategic partnership.

The companies are working to integrate several solutions, allowing mutual customers to combine the benefits of realtime fleet information with the latest intelligence on piracy and security incidents around the world. The first product will be launched Q1 2014.

Pole Star supports deployment of the Caribbean LRIT Cooperative Data Centre

The Commonwealth of Dominica, Belize, Jamaica and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana have joined forces to form the Caribbean LRIT Cooperative Data Centre. For the last 3 years each National Maritime Administration has operated its own independent National Data Centre and gained valuable experience in the operation and application of LRIT and now desire to further enhance their capabilities and benefit from economies of scale through closer ties with their regional partners.

Pole Star sponsors C-row in Cross-Channel Challenge

Two daring rowers will attempt to cross the English Channel from Ramsgate (England) to Ostend (Belgium) on 27th June 2013, in a specially built eco-friendly rowboat. They aim to cross the channel, a 120km distance, in approximately 24 hours to promote coastal and offshore rowing, an increasingly popular water sport.

The two-man team consists of traditional boat builder and restorer Koen De Gezelle and keen sportsman Stefan Vanaudenhove. The pair will row from Ramsgate (England) to Ostend (Belgium), in a custom rowing boat named Cath.

Pole Star partners with Delta Wave Communications for onshore fleet tracking solutions

Pole Star Space Applications announced today that it has partnered with Delta Wave Communications to pursue onshore opportunities. Delta Wave will offer Pole Star’s remote monitoring, security and tracking solutions to the North American energy exploration, chemical, and oil & gas markets.

Since the late 1990’s Pole Star has developed satellite-based fleet monitoring services for use in the harsh and isolated marine environment. Because satellite-based communication provides near global coverage, Pole Star’s systems allow shipowners and managers to track their ships, even when they sail beyond the reach of other communications networks. This need applies equality to onshore companies that operate assets in remote land areas where cellular coverage is limited.

Pole Star raises funds for Comic Relief

From Monday 11th March until Red Nose Day on Friday 15th, staff at Pole Star Space Applications will be fundraising for Comic Relief by organising and participating in a week-long programme of sponsored events and activities.

The fun filled week of activities is set to include dancing, fancy dress, quiz, raffle, 5k fun run and a bring & buy sale. Meanwhile, some staff will be giving up their favourite luxuries, writing poetry and keeping silent for a day in an effort to raise an ambitious £2,500 for Comic Relief.

Pole Star appoints Andrew Peters as new CEO

Pole Star, the leading provider of maritime fleet management, ship security and vessel monitoring solutions, announces the appointment of Andrew Peters as chief executive of the company. The appointment follows the retirement of interim CEO, Colin Hook, who will continue to serve as a non-executive director of the board.

Andrew Peters, previously CEO of Telefonica UK and Deutsche Telekom Ltd, takes the helm as Pole Star embarks on an ambitious strategy to launch new services, expand into new regions and release major enhancements to its existing products.

Pole Star Panama hosts first Latin America Distributor Conference

Distributors from five countries attended Pole Star’s first distributor conference in Panama City, Panama on October 22 - 24 2012. The conference was organised and hosted by Pole Star’s regional Latin America office.

Pole Star entered the LATAM market after merging with Panama based Absolute Maritime Tracking Services S.A. (AMTS) in October 2011. John Ramsauer, chief operating officer & director of the Panama office said, “The LATAM region, our Panama office and our growing network of distributors is of significant strategic importance for Pole Star. At what will hopefully be the first in a series of conferences, we shared with our distributors the company’s strategy to grow the business in LATAM region, and highlighted the importance of developing our commercial portfolio to meet the needs of our Latin American clients.”

Pole Star selects ORBCOMM for satellite AIS service

Pole Star Space Applications announced today that it plans to incorporate satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) data provided by ORBCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq: ORBC) into its complete range of commercial maritime, Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) and fisheries management solutions.

Pole Star will introduce satellite AIS features progressively throughout its range of fleet management, ship security and vessel monitoring solutions. Pole Star will utilise ORBCOMM’s satellite AIS service, which transmits a ship’s identification, position and other critical data, to assist in ship tracking and maritime navigation and safety efforts.

Pole Star launches new website

Pole Star, the leading provider of fleet management, ship security and vessel monitoring solutions to the maritime industry, has launched a new tablet-optimised website. The sleek and minimalist design offers Pole Star’s customers a simpler and more intuitive way to access information about its wide range of products and services.

Pole Star employed a “user-first” philosophy to guide the design process, and the result is a user-friendly website that provides a quick route to high-relevance information. “We designed the new website using the same principles we apply to the development of our applications: usability, accessibility and availability. HTML-5 & CSS technology allowed us to build a website that’s optimised for tablets, laptops, and mobile viewing, yet scalable for traditional PC monitors,” said Chris Bryant, Art Director at Pole Star. “The new design is a preview of what’s to come.”

Pole Star and Mackay sign distributor agreement

Mackay Communications, a leading global satellite communications and marine equipment provider, headquartered in North Carolina USA, has joined Pole Star’s wide network of approved distributors.

Mackay will offer Pole Star’s portfolio of products and services including Fleet Management, Alert Advanced Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), Marine Asset Tracker (MAT), and LRIT conformance testing services to their customer base throughout North America. “We are extremely pleased to formalise the relationship with Mackay,” commented Duncan Halliday, Head of Distribution at Pole Star. “We look forward to growing our business in all marine verticals including deep sea, brown water and the white boat market with them. The Pole Star services are key in helping streamline onshore operations, which is crucial in current market conditions.”

Pole Star and LDWF to implement Pilot VMS Program

In an effort to manage more than 1.6 million acres of public oyster beds more efficiently, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is implementing a pilot Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Program that requires oyster vessels fishing on public seed grounds to install an onboard VMS terminal provided by LDWF.

By collecting data through the pilot VMS Program LDWF will be able to monitor and manage fishing activity and resources on the public oyster seed grounds. LDWF worked closely with oyster industry leaders to create a program that would not be burdensome to harvesters.

LDWF will provide and install VMS units for all oyster permit holders, at no cost to the vessel operator. Participants in the pilot VMS Program will only be required to perform basic maintenance of the onboard VMS equipment.

Pole Star achieves Thrane & Thrane Certified Partner status

Pole Star Space Applications announced today that it has achieved Thrane & Thrane Certified Partner accreditation.

All Thrane & Thrane's official partners are required to undertake training and participate in the Thrane & Thrane partner programme. The extensive training course, which offers technical training in products & solutions, service tools and support, ensures that all its partners have the skills to provide the best service to their customers.

Pole Star accredited as Inmarsat Silver Partner

Pole Star Space Applications, the leading provider of Fleet Management, Ship Security and Vessel Monitoring systems to the maritime industry, announced today that it has been awarded Silver Partner status by Inmarsat.

Recognising Pole Star’s expertise and high levels of customer service, and following training and a series of exams, Inmarsat awarded the company Silver Partner status in July. Inmarsat accredited Silver Partners are required to complete exams and meet criteria that demonstrate the partner’s knowledge of Inmarsat’s network and services, related hardware and telecommunications technologies, as well as their commitment to customer service.

Pole Star raises £700+ for Seafarers UK

Pole Star has raised more than £700 for Seafarers UK through a number of charity fundraising events undertaken this summer. Seafarers UK is a charity which has been helping seafarers since 1917 by means of grants to support current and ex-seafarers, as well as their families.

For the second year running, Pole Star’s London office took part in Nautical Friday, an annual fundraising event organised by Seafarers UK. Staff organised nautical themed events including a themed fancy dress competition, cake sale, rope splicing masterclass and a raffle of prizes. Prizes included donations from the company’s board of directors, including Wimbledon tickets, bottles of fine Abuelo rum and Tortuga rum cakes. Much fun was had by all and Pole Star raised £737 for the cause.

Pole Star selects Skywave IsatData Pro for Ship Security Alert System upgrade

Pole Star Space Applications Ltd, the leading provider of fleet management, ship security and asset monitoring systems, has released an upgrade to its DSAS Ship Security Alert System, featuring new hardware from Skywave Mobile Communications.

The upgraded DSAS is designed to provide continuity of service and a smooth upgrade path for Pole Star SSAS customers as well as future-proofing their investment by routeing data traffic via the IsatData Pro (IDP) network, which will supersede the Inmarsat D+ and Isat M2M services over the next decade.

Pole Star London now offers LRIT services for Panama vessels

Pole Star has announced that it now offers LRIT testing and certification services for Panama flagged vessels, directly from its London headquarters and via its network of global distributors.

The merger of Pole Star and Absolute Maritime in October 2011 brought together two leaders in LRIT testing services. Together, the Pole Star group of companies is authorised to test for over 90 flags including Panama, Singapore, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands – the largest fleets in the International Maritime Organisation’s LRIT network.

Right Whale Conservation Areas added to Industry Zones

The critically endangered North Atlantic right whale migrates through some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes off the east coast of the US and Canada. These slow swimming whales spend much of their time near the surface and close to the coast, making them especially vulnerable to being struck by passing ships.

In an effort to reduce the number of right whales killed by ship strikes, conservation measures have been implemented along the east coast, including speed limitations, routing restrictions and mandatory reporting zones.

Pole Star release mobile SSAS app

Pole Star has announced the release of a new mobile application for managing fleet security.

The application, which is available free on the iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms, allows users of Pole Star’s popular Alert Advanced SSAS management system to manage security alerts sent by a ship.

The highly anticipated application features fully integrated maps that allow users to view a ship and its recent movements, poll it for up-to-date position data and reset the security alert.

MSCHOA zone now included in enhanced Industry Zones

In response to the publication of BMP4, Pole Star have released improvements to their package of Industry Zones.

Fleet Management and Alert Advanced customers can now benefit from the addition of the MSCHOA zone to their existing suite of Industry Zones including the UKMTO reporting zone, the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridors and Joint War Committee risk areas.