Within the digital era, the maritime sector is also evolving and undergoes changes. MarineTraffic has introduced major digital innovation which, in turn, has caused disruption in the shipping industry.
We asked MarineTraffic Partner and Board Member, Argyris Stasinakis, who is also responsible for Business Development at the company, to further explain the company’s effect on the maritime sector.
What digital innovation has MarineTraffic introduced to the maritime industry and what impact has this had?
MarineTraffic is an AIS pioneer: we started collecting signals from vessels in 2007, experimenting with antennas in the Aegean Sea. We published the information we gathered openly on the web for the benefit of our global users, who could find on our Map the latest known positions of vessels. The maritime world loved it and started contributing to this common pool of data. This was a pivotal point in maritime affairs as this was the first time that such information became so widely accessible.
What kind of disruption has MarineTraffic caused through its digital innovation?
Our openly available service drove transparency forward and initiated developments in the field; this is the definition of disruption. The open-for-all attitude of MarineTraffic affected how people work.
Of course, there is an upper limit to the intrinsic value of raw AIS data. Processing data adds value and empowers users. MarineTraffic has, since 2009, been geofencing areas and recording events like port calls.
Today we measure passage crossings, piloting, tugging and anything that describes the operation of a ship. We deliver value by offering sophisticated reporting and data mining. Our customers have the capability to derive intelligence for their businesses, drive decisions and take actions.
Deriving value from data is the digital innovation MarineTraffic brings about. We are a big data business and this is at the core of what we do.
How has the industry reacted to this disruption?
The industry embraced MarineTraffic. This is manifested by the wide acceptance of the our online services and the high demand for quality data which we provide via API services.
Shipping is a demanding industry and us being able to deliver high value instead of just raw data is both extremely important and what keeps us on the lead. We are working on infrastructure, advanced algorithms and advanced delivery methods to maintain an edge.
Can you list any projects MarineTraffic is currently collaborating on, and with whom? Can you also outline what kind of partners MarineTraffic would like to collaborate with?
We are well exposed within the maritime industry. We take part in multiple developments of applications, on a wide range of concepts. We measure shipping supply which, when correlated with demand, is quite useful in freight rate forecasts and decisions about S&P.
We are actively involved in initiatives with port authorities and operators related to the standards in shipping, which will allow stakeholders to exchange information and data. This will eventually lead to the development of a new generation of services in the maritime sector.
We believe there is huge potential in optimising port calls and vessel flows, because it will minimise fuel consumption and the impact of shipping on the environment. In addition, this will ultimately lead to a global maritime services marketplace. In order for this to happen though, we need trusted points of truth.
We even work on new services for the leisure sector (races, social), since leisure vessels are part of the population we report on.