Building the biggest vessel tracking network

What do three major satellite networks and over 3,500 coastal AIS stations deliver? It’s quite simple: the world’s most comprehensive real-time vessel tracking service.

Collectively, the ocean data received from satellites and the MarineTraffic managed coastal network make MarineTraffic the undisputed go-to-source for vessel movement intelligence. This month MarineTraffic signed an agreement with a third major satellite provider, which will particularly enhance the ability of our customers to track vessels in real-time anywhere in the world, including in traditionally difficult areas such as the South China Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Both areas see high volumes of close density vessels which has in the past caused detection issues.

Since our launch in 2007, MarineTraffic has invested significant resources in improving the ability of our customers to track the world’s fleet. This has meant building and maintaining our coastal network – we are now active in 184 countries and our individual stations are run by a dedicated community of volunteers. The hardware and software used by our network is regularly upgraded to ensure greater levels of reliability and stability.

The addition of the third satellite constellation means that users of our platform exploiting our ocean coverage services will see enhanced functionality thanks to the higher frequency, coverage and latency delivered by an additional set of satellites.

But how does this work in practice? Well put simply, having more frequent data updates in remote areas and the oceans means more timely calculations for predictive services.  This translates into better monitoring and planning, productivity gains, and cost efficiencies for customers using MarineTraffic.

The end result is data which maritime professionals and regulators can trust to make informed, fact-led decisions. Whether it is using our real-time services via the MarineTraffic platform or APIs, or vast datasets of historical positions, MarineTraffic has transformed the way in which the world’s ships are operated, supply-chains managed and shipping is governed and policed.

There are two strings to our bow. Primarily we are a platform where users can not only track ships, but they can make use of our predictive services, vessel details and weather data. The second string is as the one-stop shop for bulk and historical vessel data. No other organisation is able to provide such a comprehensive set of vessel positional data.

Ultimately, it is the combination of satellite AIS data, coupled with the high resolution of data from the MarineTraffic coastal stations which delivers the MarineTraffic vision of making the shipping industry more transparent, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Sebastian Button
Account Manager at London based public relations agency, Navigate PR. Sebastian supports clients across the maritime industry in engaging effectively with their stakeholders and the media.