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Tuesday, March 24, 2020 

Admiralty chart agent Elcome has launched an online shopping portal based in Dubai for Admiralty standard nautical charts.

With an automated software tool, available on Elcome’s website, customers can review, select and order charts from the comprehensive inventory of Admiralty charts. Orders are fulfilled by one of Elcome’s print-on-demand centres located in Dubai, UAE, and Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the products are shipped within one or two days to the customer’s office or the shipping agent for shipboard delivery.

The portal is linked directly to the Admiralty Marine Data Portal of the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and is updated automatically on a weekly basis as UKHO  releases new Notices to Mariners on its server.

“We developed this new online purchasing service as part of our swift response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jimmy Grewal, executive director of Elcome International. “We initiated a work-from-home programme with a goal of having at least two-thirds of our staff working remotely, but we realised this would affect the large number of local customers who normally come to our business in person to purchase charts. Within two weeks, we successfully developed, tested and launched the new charts service on our website. This means our employees and customers can minimise personal contact while still getting the prompt and efficient service they’ve always received from Elcome, and ensures their ships sail safely on schedule with completely up-to-date nautical charts.”

Elcome upgraded its chart supply business to a print-on-demand model in Dubai starting in 2013, and added a second printing centre at its Colombo office in 2018. The full-scale printed charts meet the highest cartographic quality standards and are fully up to date when printed. 

“Elcome has been a UKHO Admiralty agent since 1980, and we have been at the forefront of  adopting new technologies like on-demand chart printing,” said Kostiantyn Matvieiev, senior manager, charts and publications, at Elcome. “We are introducing this new online ordering service to ensure mariners have no interruption in access to Admiralty cartographic products during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Elcome offers an advanced B2B software program (EUPDATE) that provides an end-to-end service to manage print and digital products for high-volume customers. Using EUPDATE, customers can manage their entire inventory of charts and publications including Notices to Mariners for each ship in the fleet from their own computers aboard ship or in their shore office. The system automatically monitors and sends notices of expiry dates, cancellations and new editions for all charts, publications and licenses in inventory. It guides customers based on what inventory is required for a specific ship type and sailing route.

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