Improving accuracy on Calculated ETA

How the addition of a third satellite provider to our coastal AIS network helps our users receive timely and more precise calculations

MarineTraffic has recently added a third satellite provider to what is already the world’s largest and most extensive coastal network of AIS receivers, consisting of over 3,500 stations.

The combination of satellite AIS data along with the high resolution of data from the MarineTraffic coastal stations, enable us to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the global shipping fleet.

How does our enhanced coverage help you? It enables us to provide more precise information, including a far more accurate Calculated Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA), which is important for many professionals in the maritime industry.

To get a better understanding of how our ETA calculations have improved with the satellite and coastal AIS information combined, we should first look at the differences between Calculated ETA and Reported ETA.

As more than one ETA exists, understanding their main differences is key. The arrival time at the destination port is information reported manually by the ship’s crew (reported ETA) in the transmissions. However, in situations where time-accuracy is critical, reported ETA is not enough. It hides risks, such as human errors and less frequent updates.

Calculated ETA is a more regularly updated prediction of the arrival at the destination based upon AIS-reported details (speed, course, reported destination), past voyages and shipping lanes. This is a dynamic process provided by MarineTraffic based on data-driven information and calculations.

Related: What vessel and voyage details can be changed in AIS transponders

calculated ETA differences reported ETA

Related: How to visualise a vessel’s future route on the Live Map. Learn more about our Route Forecast feature.

The inclusion of the third satellite provider into our network facilitates this process and helps us improve these calculations; we now receive more regular updates, even in remote areas around the globe.

According to Stellios Stratidakis, Head of Data at MarineTraffic, “Having more frequent updates in remote areas and the oceans translates into timely calculations for predictive services that further translate to better monitoring and planning, productivity gains, and cost-cutting.”

How does getting more regular updates actually translate into more accurate predictions of the voyage?

MarineTraffic data analysis showed that we are now delivering better predictions of the estimated time of arrival at ports. Our calculations on the ETA on average got better, with a high percentage of accuracy even days and hours before the arrival when compared to the Actual Time of Arrival (ATA). For example, for commercial fleet, our Calculated ETA was 90,62% accurate five days before the arrival. Even during transatlantic trips, where the duration of the voyage is bigger, we are able to deliver more precise information on the time of arrival to the destination port.

Better accuracy of data not only helps you make better predictions but helps your customers and business in general. More informed decisions, smarter preparation and improved operations.

Related: Searching for an ocean freight visibility solution? Here are the 5 things to consider when selecting your ocean predictive ETAs vendor

MarineTraffic is committed to providing the very best global ship tracking service for the six million users who use the platform. The enhancement of the coverage in combination with the methodology we are using contributes to the MarineTraffic vision of making the shipping industry more transparent, efficient and eco-friendly.

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