Harley Marine Replaces Outdated Technology & Deploys 4G LTE Ruggedized Routers for Maritime Connectivity
Harley Marine, like many maritime companies, required a solution for simple, fast, and reliable network connectivity to ensure daily tasks such as invoice processing, navigation, marine-mapping and more could be completed seamlessly, and that its employees could deliver consistent customer service.
This full-service maritime company chose Cradlepoint for a cost-effective solution that would augment VSAT (satellite) and replace outdated technology to securely connect management to the vessels deployed in waterways all over the globe.
Harley Marine is one of the fastest-growing marine transportation businesses and leading providers of marine transportation services. It has grown from one leased tug and barge in Seattle’s Puget Sound into a widely diverse fleet of tugs and barges with diversified marine operations in all major West Coast ports, New York, and the American Gulf. The company’s main priority is to provide safe and efficient marine transportation that is customer service focused. Harley Marine is considered a thought leader in the industry, and deploying Cradlepoint solutions has provided innovative changes to the way they communicate and perform day-to-day business.
With 175 boats and more than 1,000 employees in offices across several cities such as New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and remote locations in Alaska, it was vital for Harley Marine to have a reliable communication system that can be remotely managed. It became clear that the solution Harley Marine was using prior to Cradlepoint was no longer a viable solution for the future of the company, as the devices did not have the bandwidth capabilities, ruggedness, or the signal strength necessary to ensure day-to-day operations could be completed.
Harley Marine deployed Cradlepoint’s COR IBR1100 fully ruggedized router series on its vessels. The routing platform connects all of the on-board technology, including the two computers on each vessel that run the navigation and accounting software.
With NetCloud Manager, the remote network management services within the Cradlepoint NetCloud Platform, Harley Marine’s IT team is able to fully deploy and manage their Cradlepoint routers from a central location, eliminating the need for a crew to board the vessel.
POWERFULLY RUGGEDIZED HARDWARE
The vessels are exposed to the elements as they travel all over the waterways. It is essential that the communications not go down due to inclement weather, vibrations, splash, moisture, and more. The COR IBR1100 is a fully ruggedized routing platform that is purpose-built for missioncritical connectivity in the most challenging environments.
“The ruggedization is extremely important to us,” said Jay Franco, IT manager for Harley Marine. “The routers hold up very well against all the moisture on the boats. With Cradlepoint, the boats don’t lose their connection, so daily activities are not interrupted.”
RELIABLE NETWORK UPTIME
The computers on Harley Marine’s vessels constantly receive software updates, and the Cradlepoint solution has been vital in ensuring the completion of those updates. In addition, when mechanics, safety supervisors, and other personnel board the boats, they are able to quickly and securely connect to the WiFi to complete their tasks.
“The boats are constantly on the move and they frequently go into areas where there is not a strong enough signal for them to complete job duties,” said Franco.
TIME SAVINGS WITH REMOTE MANAGEMENT
With Cradlepoint, everyday tasks that used to take weeks to turn around can be completed in a few minutes—and more efficiently than ever before.
When a Harley Marine vessel gets orders for its next job, the team is able to remotely see where all its destinations are, track its time, and access the software on board. Payroll is recorded in real time, so as soon as a job is complete, Harley Marine can immediately send an invoice to the customer, saving them time and ensuring excellent customer service.
“What’s great now is we hear about something immediately and can complete tasks instantly. It used to take weeks to accomplish simple operational tasks. Now, it is all streamlined and everything is in real time and up-to-date,” said Franco.