Dutch Pilots’ Corporation

“The solution NetMotion provides was the missing piece in our connectivity puzzle.”

– Wim van Buuren, Chairman of the Dutch Pilots’ Corporation, Region Rotterdam-Rijnmond

The Situation

Approximately 100,000 ships every year, with more than 700 pilots. Operating 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions. The Dutch Pilots’ Corporation trains and furnishes harbor pilots to help guide ships through busy waters, rivers and locks, as well as docking them in Dutch and Flemish harbors—including Rotterdam, the largest seaport in Europe.

Local law requires ships docking at Rotterdam to employ an autonomous navigation system to manage harbor traffic and ensure safety. Which means connection issues and application freezes are never acceptable.

Key Challenges

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The required navigation system makes use of signals transmitted by towers in England, France and Germany, over various network types, so connection switchovers are frequent.

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Pilots were experiencing application or OS freezes during periods of weak signal or network switchovers—resulting in a complete loss of navigational information.

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The law requires the system to maintain a precision of five meters or less, and the ship must receive local position corrections from land-based servers with no more than three seconds between updates.

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Pilots rely on connectivity for nautical charts, route planning, traffic displays and low-speed close-proximity maneuvers, making reliability and performance absolutely critical.

The Results

The Dutch Pilots’ Corporation deployed NetMotion Software-Defined Mobility to help keep the navigation system working during network switchovers and periods of poor performance, for all 700+ pilots.

With critical applications shielded during connectivity issues, pilots now have constant, reliable access to the mission-critical navigation system—and the government mandates for precision and frequency of updates are met consistently.

The company’s pilots now credit NetMotion with contributing directly to less waiting time at the Dutch and Flemish harbors, and a quicker and safer flow on the rivers they sail.

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