9 ways to monitor accurate vessel movements

Accessing a wealth of data helps you monitor vessel movements with confidence

Any professional who is involved in the day-to-day operations of a ship knows that responsibilities are numerous, and time is often limited when decisions must be taken.

Having access to real-time information about your fleet’s navigational status is the number one priority, and monitoring the world’s ship movements 24/7 is key.

“Where is my vessel right now?”

“Where are other commercial vessels sailing, and how fast do these move?”

“Are there any search and rescue vessels nearby a ship in distress?”

“Is my vessel sailing in high winds?”

Determining the accurate position of the vessels you are in charge of while they are at sea is vital to maintain the safety of navigation. Every Ship Operator should be able to feel confident that there are accurate and reliable answers to the questions above and be able to get hold of critical information as soon as possible especially when challenges arise; however, this is not always easy.

Related reading: Top 5 challenges Fleet Operations Managers face

MarineTraffic has been offering the most complete ship tracking data globally since 2007, and thanks to its advanced AIS data and maritime intelligence, new solutions are created to fit professionals’ unique needs and help them improve operational efficiency.

Here are 9 ways to monitor accurate vessel movements and enjoy an unparalleled vessel tracking experience:

1. Access Satellite AIS & Terrestrial AIS data for global coverage

Owning the world’s largest Terrestrial AIS network, and making sure this is infused with data from all three Satellite AIS providers, both ensure the accuracy and reliability of the vessel movement display on a Live Map. Track your vessel anywhere it sails, at any time of the day.

2. Enhance coverage with Inmarsat-C & VSAT Integration

Facing any detection issues? This can happen sometimes. In cases like these, when AIS data is not available, you can still get positions coming from the Inmarsat-C terminal of your vessel. Need to enhance tracking data even more? Integrating vessel positions collected through the VSAT network into MarineTraffic is also an additional option, and this makes a combination of powerful tools that eliminate intervals between vessel positions.

3. Eliminate unpleasant surprises thanks to Notifications

With geofencing and behavioural alerts delivered directly to your email or mobile, you gain situational awareness by being immediately notified of mission-critical events when they occur.

Not all people need and want to be notified of the same events; choose what could affect your fleet’s operational efficiency and control what alerts should interrupt your workflow. You may choose among automated notifications covering a wide range of events, such as:

  • Port calls
  • Bunkering/ Slops/ Lubes
  • Speed is higher or lower than what you’ve set as the average speed limit
  • Vessel stopped or docked
  • Vessel Enters/ Exits ECA Zone or a Piracy area, MARPOL, JWC and more
  • STS
  • Vessel changed course
  • Vessel sailing in high winds
  • Vessel drifting

No time to go through this Notification email now or not sure whether this is of interest to someone else in your team too? The truth is it is often difficult to even handle this constant influx of information. Keep all notification messages that you received archived into your account for future reference, and stay organised.

4. Create your own Fleets

Group the vessels you want to focus on and create your personal Fleet; it will only take a second. Follow your Fleet’s movements by visualising these on the Live Map. Unless you need to compare them to the global traffic, choose your Fleet view and eliminate distractions.

5. Visualise marine traffic in Custom Areas

Draw your own boundaries in a region and create your own designated areas. Closely monitor vessel activity in the specific areas of interest to you on the Live Map. This saves you time from looking for the same region over and over again, not to mention how it also keeps away distractions of surrounding activity.

6.  Enable SafetyNET Areas on the Live Map

On top of being able to customise your view according to your needs and choose the map layers regarding the map type (satellite, dark, standard, nautical view etc) or the features (vessel names, projected course, speed, destination, timezone etc), you may now locate all these areas mapped for coastal navigation warnings. In one click, see on the map all the areas (operations, piracy, buoys, rigs etc) addressed in navigational and meteorological forecasts, and other urgent, safety-related messages broadcast to vessels via the Inmarsat EGC system.

7. Determine Areas of Interest

This layer allows you to view all the Emission Control Areas in which stricter controls were established to minimise airborne emissions from ships, areas you have decided to focus on (My Custom Areas), Piracy Zones, JWC, MARPOL A1-A5 Areas, Load Lines, Exclusive Economic Zones, Traffic Separation Schemes, Trade Areas, Geographical Areas, NAVAREAs, Offshore Wind Farms, Rivers, Lakes and the list goes on and on; but most importantly, you may click on the area you choose and access key information about it.

We make sure you are able to access every piece of information you need, from the total number & full list of vessels within an area over the past 24 hours to those that recently entered or left.

Thanks to the Notifications service mentioned above, you are also able to know the exact time a vessel of your interest has entered or exited a particular geographical region – in real-time.

8. Enable updated Weather Map Layers

Access more than 20 Weather Map Layers, each giving you a full picture of distinct weather events; wind forecasts, current flows, atmospheric pressure, tropical storms etc. Get a clear view of how the weather may affect your vessel’s voyage and make better decisions ahead of time.

9. Monitor voyage execution while viewing the Passage Plan

Various situations may arise wherein the Master assesses it necessary to deviate from the originally submitted route plan.

With the MarineTraffic solution, you can first upload your passage plan on our Live Map, and then compare it with the actual route the vessel has taken.

Upload ECDIS Passage Plan and activate Nautical Charts on Live Map to identify risky routing. Visualise the voyage and monitor every position of the vessel, making sure operations conducted en route are planned accordingly.


These are the nine tools and services, all of which combine into one powerful source of reliable data for users to be able to make better-informed decisions. With Fleet Operations Solution, you can:

➔ MONITOR your vessel as it crosses the oceans

➔ PLAN every aspect of your voyage

➔ REPORT and review incidents, and charter party compliance

So far in this blog post, we have covered the first part of the service, which is vessel monitoring; stay tuned for more details on operations planning and voyage reporting in our upcoming blog posts.

Fleet Operations Solution | MarineTraffic