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Harbor Star Shipping and Globe Business: Going Full Speed Ahead in Service Delivery Through M2M Solutions

Signing the agreement between Harbor Star Shipping and Globe Business are (L-R, seated) Robie Reyes, Key Geo 1 Cluster Head of Sales Enterprise Group, Globe Business; Dion Asencio, Vice President for Enterprise Sales, Globe Business;  Geronimo Bella, Jr., President and CEO, Harbor Star; and Rodrigo Bella, Vice President for Operations, Harbor Star. With them are (L-R, standing) Glenn Garces, Area Head for Sales Enterprise Group, Globe Business and Ignatius Rodriguez, Chief Information Officer, Harbor Star.

Leading provider of marine services Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc.(HSPI) has tapped Globe Business, the information and communication technology (ICT) arm of Globe Telecom, to provide trackers that will monitor the fleet operations of HSPI.

The trackers, which fall under the Fleet Management application of the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Solutions suite will be installed in 33 units of HSPI’s fleet systems. M2M solutions enable machines, equipment, assets or things to remotely exchange real-time data with other machines, people or information systems through a communication network with minimal human intervention.

A first mover

Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. President and CEO Geronimo P. Bella, Jr., a second-generation operator, is proud of the steady growth that his company gained through the years, having started out with just one tugboat in Subic back in 1998.

As one of the first movers in marine services, Bella says that what he aspired years ago has become a groundbreaker in the industry. Now with a fleet of 45 watercraft, consisting of tugboats, barges, and other specialized vessels, Harbor Star is better able to expand its roster of services, which includes tug assist, towage, lighterage, salvage, oil and chemical spill response, firefighting,  diving and marine maintenance services, and ship management.

After putting up its Makati main office in 2008 to expand its commercial operations, Harbor Star continued to adopt new practices and technologies, setting sights on globalizing its service. Just recently, Harbor Star became the first Filipino marine services company that established presence in Malaysia.

Serving 5,500 vessels annually – mostly foreign shipping lines, Harbor Star also received various international and local awards and certifications for demonstrating excellence in its operations.

Adopting new technologies

Another big move for the company is its installation of trackers, using GPS technology, into its sea-based and land-based vehicles through Globe Business’ M2M Solutions. This advancement gave Harbor Star significant improvement in terms of real-time vessel tracking and monitoring.

“It’s going well, especially with the second tracker,” shares Bella. “Since we have numerous tugboats deployed throughout the Philippines, it was a challenge to track the location of our boats. With the installation of trackers, we no longer rely on crew reports alone. Now, we know where all our tugboats and vessels are at any time. It helps us monitor our assets, which is very important to us.”

Promoting cost efficiency

While this is not the first time to use trackers to monitor their assets, Bella shares that what they used to avail are the services of international companies, which he says, tend to be very costly compared to the affordable rates of Globe Business. Another advantage is quick updates provided on the location of its assets every five minutes.

“We find the service very effective in terms of analyzing operations and fuel efficiency. It also has a speed chart, which shows the average speed of the tugboat at any particular moment, which helps us with our fuel management.” Bella also emphasizes an important feature which is the ‘panic button’ that is aligned with the company’s precautionary measures. Should there be any trouble, all they have to do is press that button and Globe could immediately alert three pre-identified executives through SMS when a particular tugboat needs assistance.

Quality service

Alongside the innovative products, Harbor Star greatly values Globe Business’ notable customer service, where customers get the kind of service they deserve for the improvement of their operations. “I think what’s really important is that we listen to our customers,” quips Globe Business Senior Advisor for Enterprise and IT Enabled Services Group Mike Frausing on working with their clients. In fact, Frausing and his team meet with their clients regularly to monitor quality of service and identify rooms for improvement.

“Globe Business always ensures that our needs come first. They make sure that even our smallest needs are met, from simple requests such as changing units of measurement to customizing select features in our services. That is important to us because it is our assurance that they are there for us. The fact that Globe listens to us makes them an integral part of our business,” ends Bella.

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