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Monday, March 30, 2020 

Maritime technology company GNS has launched VFI Plus, a new extension to its Voyager Fleet Insight (VFI) web service and, at the same time, announced that it will be making the service available free of charge during the COVID-19 pandemic to support shipping companies with remote-working or office-based teams with increased demands for fast access to up to date information.

VFI Plus is said to be the most advanced web tool GNS has offered its customers; enabling vessels to be remotely managed and monitored from shore in ways not previously possible over the internet on a single platform.

One of the challenges for remote-working teams is not having access to data quickly enough. In addition, the COVID-19 virus is creating operational challenges that demand better access to information about vessel locations and their maritime environment.

Designed to put more information in the hands of shore-based ship management and improve operational oversight and vessel safety, GNS’s new VFI Plus service features the ability to view live vessel positions on C-MAP charts, overlay current and forecast weather conditions, display MARPOL zones and view all nearby vessels within a user-defined distance. As a result of GNS’s collaboration with maritime security experts Risk Intelligence, VFI Plus introduces the ability for users to view the latest maritime security issues globally, together with the option to also access premium detailed seaborne and port-related risk information. As a premium add-on service, vessel and other information, including Admiralty Information Overlay, may be displayed on UKHO AVCS charts.

“We want to help those who are involved in managing shipping activities during this unprecedented period to do their jobs as effectively as possible, with the ability to view both up-to-date vessel positions overlaid on charts, maritime weather, maritime security and MARPOL,” said Kent Lee, CEO, GNS. "VFI Plus is the ideal service to help customers during these challenging times that will enable better operational oversight, enhanced collaboration between vessel and shore that lead to more informed decision-making. In addition, the opportunity to also access official AVCS charts online, elevates the system further and makes this the most comprehensive set of vessel management features ever offered in a single web-based system.”

For personnel managing vessels in remote locations, dealing with shipping incidents or investigating alleged regulatory violations, VFI Plus’s ‘go back in time’ facility provides a new resource. The feature leverages GNS’s maritime data assets to enables users to view vessel positions for specific dates and times as far back as 2015 and verify vessel’s historic positions, routes and activities in the context of other nearby craft, MARPOL areas and other key features of the maritime environment such as fish farms and submarine cables.

VFI Plus is available free of charge during the COVID-19 crisis to all shipping companies irrespective of whether they purchase navigational products from GNS or not.

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