The rapid advancement of technology has significantly improved monitoring and tracking of ships recently. In addition, the fast-developing satellite services have made ship tracking across the globe easier now, thus ensuring the safety of vessels from various threats.
With the help of satellite-based vessel monitoring systems (VMS), different types of vessels have been 3. Shipfinder is monitored efficiently by marine agencies and vessel owners for a long period.
The automatic identification system (AIS) helps track bigger vessels crossing waters worldwide by offering real-time information about the vessels.
Currently, several websites provide ship tracking using the automatic identification system to display the real-time location of the ships.
With the help of transponders equipped on the vessels, the satellites will collect AIS signals from the vessels to provide their position, route, speed, and ship type through various online platforms.
Moreover, the introduction of Google Earth has revolutionized ship tracking, allowing access to every detail of almost all ships within seconds.
However, since various online services provide vessel tracking information, the purpose of the content provided varies.
It is important to note that ship tracking through these online platforms is often meant for educational purposes.
However, many of these services are also used to track different types of cargo ships, such as container ships.
Though most of these service providers promise a “real-time” location of the ships, the data displayed is always behind by a few minutes or even several hours. Thus, this information should NEVER be used for navigation purposes.
Here, we list a few prominent websites widely used for near-accurate online ship tracking.
These vessel trackers provide the ship’s location, technical and non-technical details, designated routes, and photographs.
Notable Vessel Tracking Websites
Marine Traffic, one of the most famous and widely used online ship tracking systems, offers ships’ real-time data and advanced search features.
It offers vessel owners many services, including satellite AIS coverage, enhanced satellite tracking, advanced density maps, nautical charts, etc.
Apart from tracking ships, Marine-Traffic also allows the tracking of various Ports around the world. Moreover, the AIS system of the website boasts a massive database of ships of every type.
Marine traffic records at least 800 million vessel positions and 18 million vessel and port related events monthly. In addition, it offers information about 650000 marine assets such as vessels, ports, lights, etc.
This open, community-based project offers many services free of cost, while more advanced functions come with a fee.
The website operates more than 2000 AIS stations located in over 165 countries and has over 600,000 registered users and around 20 million visits to its website every month.
FleetMon, another open database of ships and ports worldwide, offers real-time AIS position data of ships, along with technical information on over 500000 vessels.
It provides the vessel’s particulars, schedules and port arrivals, trading patterns and photos according to the customer’s search.
Using its interactive tool FleetMon Explorer, you can see a real-time view of the marine traffic and access information on operations monitoring, logistics scheduling, fleet tracking, traffic analysis, etc.
Established in 2007, FleetMon currently has customers across 164 countries. Fleet Mon is one of the finest ship tracking services, offering iPhone and iPad apps.
This is another widely used ship tracking service online that allows one to find ships through various options such as ship number, tonnage, capacity, ownership, construction, etc.
This online service collects AIS ship feeds used by vessels over 300 tonnes, passenger vessels and small vessels like yachts to provide real-time information to its customers.
It also keeps track of the user’s search history to provide a better user experience and offers premium paid membership for advanced users.
Established in 2011, VesselFinder offers real-time data on more than 100,000 vessels daily with the help of a large network of terrestrial AIS receivers.
Offering services across digital, social and mobile platforms, VesselFinder offers efficient monitoring services, port calls, master data and a detailed voyage history of each ship. In addition, it also provides historical AIS Data services that deliver customized ship movement reports, analysis of traffic density and video simulation of vessel movements, among others.
With a database of more than 1,000,000 vessels, Vesseltracker provides customized real-time and historical data on vessels voyaging worldwide. It helps users monitor vessels with the help of map views and layers, including Google Satellite, Google Earth, nautical charts, etc.
The website has a huge database comprising updated vessel specifications, characteristics, ownership and management information, etc. In addition, Vesseltracker offers analytics and reports on vessel movements and port events.
VT Explorer offers users real-time AIS position data and technical information of more than 100,000 ships daily. Apart from the required information, the website also provides images of all the vessels being tracked.
Available to use from both your personal computer and mobile, VT Explorer helps monitor ship schedules and arrivals to analyze trading patterns.
myshiptracking is another advanced website that provides real-time positions of vessels worldwide. With its large database, myshiptracking allows users to monitor vessels and ports efficiently to analyze marine traffic worldwide. The website also allows you to save your browsing data and offers its service to iPhone and Android users through mobile apps.
Unlike other online vessel monitoring websites, CruiseMapper offers information on the positions and schedules of cruise ships serving tourists worldwide.
With its Cruise ships and ports database, the website provides information on each cruise’s features and technical specifications and information for major ports that house the cruise ships.
On the ship location website, one can track 80,000 sea and river-going vessels, know the status of 17,000 ports and marinas, 1400 cruise ports, 1000 shipyards and much more.
It is designed for ship owners, managers, logistics companies and agencies. Even individuals can use it for ship tracking.
The website has three useful maritime tools-
- Distance calculator- for calculating port-to-port distance via different routes.
- Maritime locator- which helps in tracking ship-related services
- Ship tracker- helps in tracking ships using geographical coordinates
Among all, the maritime locator and the ship tracker are immensely useful. The locator saves time by allowing a person to search for the closest commercial or cruise ports or shipping services, such as repair yards, ship agencies, bunkers, etc.
Baltic Shipping strives to maintain the world’s most advanced seafarers database. All the professionals in the shipping industry can use this website. Individuals can develop their careers and find new job openings from reputed maritime companies.
It allows people to keep all the documents in one place, and they can be easily shared with the companies. One can also monitor the expiration date of the documents, and the system will keep everything updated automatically. The registration is also very simple.
Another important service provided by the website is vessel tracking and vessel search. It has a huge database for different vessels. You can get information about that particular vessel by putting in the vessel’s name, IMO number and vessel type.
Alltrack allows one to search for a ship by its name/ IMO/MMI number. One can also scroll down and choose from the elaborate database directly. One can track their vessels or ships live and see the ports on the map. Hence, it offers live ship tracking free.
The website is user-friendly and has a simple interface. It also offers other services like air cargo tracking, postal tracking, and courier tracking and provides tracking links.
This website offers many services. It has around 112,000 ships in its database and information about more than 1000 shipyards, allowing vessel tracking by name.
The website does not use its tracking technology but integrates Vesselfinder and Marine traffic on its platform. It’s a great idea; one can find all vessel-related information anywhere.
Also, there is a fleet list of major cruising companies, and the fare discounts offered. One can book their cruise ship tickets here as well. Since COVID-19 hit, the website also shows the names of ships infected with COVID-19.
The website also has tools like a plane tracker, distance calculators, IMPA Codes, air cargo tracker, baltic dry index, nautical charts, incoterms, weather tracker, etc.
Marine Online is an e-commerce company based in Singapore that offers important marine-related services to shipowners. It has a website as well that allows for vessel tracking and provides services like vessel karting, ship supply, crewing, marine insurance, bunkering, etc.
This website provides access to basic and advanced container ship tracking information free of charge. Data fields such as vessel, route info, estimated time of arrival, and next port of call are available at the tip of your fingers.
Registered customers can also access the fleet management function and charter info like contacts of operators and technical managers. However, it is important to know that most tracking data is free of charge.
This website allows real-time vessel tracking and monitoring. One can access information on all vessels worldwide without any geographical limitations.
The website is not free, and one can choose from the given plans- Starter, Experimenter and Developer Pro+.
The website’s Live ships tracking REST API allows one to access vessel data like the ship’s location, estimated arrival time, deadweight tonnage, navigational status, destination, etc.
One can put in the MMSI number of the vessel for tracing it, or one can specify the type of vessel one needs to track and give additional info like gross tonnage of the ship, its name, etc., to get quick results.
The ship tracker tool has a profound database comprising 36 vessel types and over 300 subtypes.
What makes AISHub different from other vessel tracking websites is access to the raw AIS feeds. The aim of this website is to be a raw NMEA AIS data-sharing centre and a valuable reservoir of data for all individuals and professionals interested in developing AIS-related software.
The website has a map and a tracker showing the number and location of the vessels plying in the world. One can click on a country or region and get the status of the number of vessels there.
Ship-tracking websites have drastically changed how ships and consignments are tracked, and marine traffic is monitored. These websites offer a wealth of information with just one click, allowing us to see the vessel’s position in real-time. One can easily get access to the up-to-date and latest info on the ship’s movement, current location, speed and direction.
These websites enable us to track ships across the globe, which is important for businesses involved in shipping and providers of shipping services.
Whether you are a maritime professional, a ship enthusiast, or someone who likes to track maritime traffic, ship-tracking websites are important tools that allow you to get all the information about a particular ship or even fleet easily and readily.
Over to you.
Do you know any other important ship tracking service that should be added to the list of marine trackers?
Let us know in the comments below.
You might also like to read:
- The Long Range Tracking and Identification (LRIT) System: Tracking and Monitoring Ships
- The Importance of Vessel Tracking System
- How is Ship Container Tracking Done?
- Automatic Identification System (AIS): Integrating and Identifying Marine Communication Channels
- What is ETD and ETA in Shipping?
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Raunek Kantharia is a marine engineer turned maritime writer and entrepreneur. After a brief stint at the sea, he founded Marine Insight in 2010. Apart from managing Marine Insight, he also writes for a number of maritime magazines and websites.