AP Moller-Maersk has agreed a deal to provide high-speed internet for its fleet via Elon Musk’s Starlink system.

The low-earth orbit satellite service developed by Musk’s SpaceX will be rolled out on more than 330 boxships by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

The ships will receive connectivity with speeds of more than 200 megabits per second.

Maersk described the pioneering service as “a leap forward in terms of internet speed and latency which will bring significant benefits in terms of both crew welfare and business impact”.

The deal came after a successful pilot phase during which crew members on more than 30 Maersk vessels tested Starlink, with positive feedback.

“The high-speed connectivity will enable our seagoing colleagues to stay connected with their loved ones while at sea. It will also propel the expansion of seamless cloud solutions, enabling our vision to digitalise our vessel operations,” said Leonardo Sonzio, Maersk’s head of fleet management & technology.

Video calls home will be made simpler and costs will be saved by moving business-critical applications into the cloud, as well as strengthening remote support and inspections of the vessels.

“AP Moller-Maersk’s vessels are key to global trade, and Starlink’s high-speed broadband through the world’s most advanced satellite internet constellation will help boost efficiency through seamless connectivity no matter where in the world they are,” said Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s vice president of Starlink commercial sales.

In September, Norway’s Klaveness Combination Carriers said it was exploring the potential of the system in a trial.

Japanese giant Mitsui OSK Lines revealed in December 2022 that it was also testing the service.