From left, NAVTOR Sales Director Børge Hetland, CEO and General Manager Tor A. Svanes and Manager NAVTOR UK Richard Northover (photo: NAVTOR)
NAVTOR is continuing its global expansion with the news that the Norwegian e-Navigation specialist is opening its first base in the UK. The firm, which has rapidly built a strong position as a provider of advanced e-Navigation technology and services, has recruited Richard Northover to lead the Somerset based office.
NAVTOR was established in 2011, launching its acclaimed ENC service to the market in 2012. Since that point the business has secured both a global customer base and footprint, with offices in its hometown of Egersund, Norway, as well as dedicated bases in St Petersburg, Russia, Singapore, Japan and Sweden.
The latest move is, according to NAVTOR CEO Tor Svanes, a natural step forward for the ambitious business.
“We have a core mission of simplifying tasks for navigators, enhancing safety, and delivering increased efficiency for owners and operators,” Svanes states. “This is an objective that, particularly given the current market conditions, has been very well received by customers worldwide. We already have a strong position in Europe, but see huge potential in the UK. This is, and has been for centuries, one of the world’s leading maritime nations, and we believe the demand for our unique technology and services is clear, strong and broad-based. The UK has always been on the chart for NAVTOR’s growth plans, and Richard is the right man to help us realise that business potential.”
Northover is a veteran of the maritime industry. After starting his career navigating and commanding commercial yachts, he took the role of UK and Ireland Sales and Marketing Manager at Brookes and Gatehouse, before moving on to ChartCo and then Kelvin Hughes as Regional Sales Manager. Here he developed an intimate understanding of delivering technical products and services tailored to individual customer needs. His most recent role was at the International Centre for ENCs (IC-ENC), where, as Commercial Manager, he helped grow market share, develop market-wide ENC licensing specifications, and cemented the strength of the brand within key industry segments.
“I’ve been working alongside and watching NAVTOR’s growth with interest for the past four years,” he comments. “Their ability to develop innovative technology to simplify tasks and meet market needs has created real stand out in the industry. In particular, the creation of NavStation, the world’s first digital chart table, and their market defining Pay As You Sail (PAYS) ENC service, convinced me that this was a team that was committed to maximising the potential and benefits of e-navigation.”
“Their portfolio is second to none, and answers a clear market need here in the UK. I’m looking forward to spreading the NAVTOR name throughout the industry, creating awareness of their expertise, technology and the efficiencies – in terms of time, fuel and cost – they can enable for shipowners of every size and segment.”
NAVTOR’s ENC-based portfolio enables seamless access to, and updates of, the very latest digital charts, saving man-hours while slashing administration duties. Chart management is simplified with land-based teams, as well as those at sea, receiving an overview of all chart usage, while weather and route optimisation options can help enhance safety and fuel efficiency, with typical optimisations delivering fuel savings of approximately 4%.
Key NAVTOR products include the NAVTOR ENC Service, compatible with all types of ECDIS and available on a subscription or PAYS basis, NavStation, NavTracker fleet management software, and NavBox – a new innovation that automatically downloads the latest navigational data without navigators having to check for updates.