The rapid advancement of technology has significantly improved the methods of monitoring and tracking the vessels in the recent past. The fast-developing satellite services have enabled the tracking of vessels across the globe easier now and thus ensuring the safety of vessels from various threats. With the help of satellite-based vessel monitoring systems (VMS), the fishing vessels have been monitoring efficiently by marine agencies and vessel owners for a long period. The automatic identification system (AIS) helps track bigger vessels crossing waters across the world 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 its position, route, speed and ship’s type, among others through various online platforms. Moreover, now the introduction of Google Earth has revolutionized the ship tracking process, allowing access to each and every detail of almost all ships within seconds. However, since there are various online services to provide vessel tracking information, the purpose of the content provided varies. It is important to note that ship tracking done through these online platforms is often meant for educational purpose. Though most of these service providers promise “real-time” location of the ships, the data displayed is always behind by few minutes or even by several hours. Thus, this information should NEVER be used for navigation purpose.
Here we have a list of a few prominent websites which are widely used for online ship tracking. These ship finders provide not only the ship’s location, but also technical and non-technical details, designated routes, and even photographs.
Notable Websites Used for Ship tracking
Marine-Traffic, one of the most famous and widely used online ship tracking systems, offers real-time data of ships along with advanced search features. It offers vessel owners with a number of services including satellite AIS coverage, enhanced satellite tracking, advanced density maps, and nautical charts etc. Apart from tracking ships, Marine-Traffic also allows the tracking of various Ports around the world. The AIS system of the website boasts of a massive database of ships of every type. According to Marine-Traffic, it records at least 800 million vessel positions as well as 18 million vessel and port-related events monthly and offers information about 650000 marine assets such as vessels, ports, and lights etc. This open, community-based project offers a number of services for free of cost, while more advanced functions come with a fee. According to the website, it operates more than 2, 000 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 across the world, offers real-time AIS position data, technical information on over 500000 vessels. It provides the particulars of the vessel, schedules and port arrivals, trading patterns and photos according to the customer’s search. Using its interactive tool named FleetMon Explorer, you can see a real-time view of the marine traffic and access information on operations monitoring, logistics scheduling, fleet tracking, and traffic analysis etc. Established in 2007, FleetMon currently has customers across 164 countries. Fleet Mon is one of the finest ship tracking services which also offers iPhone and iPad apps.
This is another widely used ship tracking service online which allows vessel search through various options such as ship number, tonnage, and 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 a track of the search history of the users to provide 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 on a daily basis 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, and master data and a detailed voyage history of each ship. In addition, it also provides historical AIS Data services that deliver customized ship movements reports, analysis of traffic density and video simulation of vessel movements, among others.
With the database of more than 1,000,000 vessels, Vesseltracker provides customized both real-time and historical data on vessels voyaging across the world. It will help users monitor vessels with the help of map views and layers including google satellite, google earth and nautical charts etc. The website has a huge database that consists of 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 its users with the real-time AIS position data and technical information of more than 100,000ships every day. Apart from the required information, the website also provides images of all the vessels being tracked by. Available to use from both your personal computer and mobile, VT Explorer helps monitor ship schedules and arrivals to analyze the trading patterns.
myshiptracking is another advanced website that provides real-time positions of vessels around the world. With its large database, myshiptracking allows users to monitor vessels and ports efficiently to analyze the marine traffic across the world. The website also allows you to save our browsing data and also offers its service to iPhone and Android users through mobile apps.
Unlike other online vessel monitoring websites, CruiseMapper offers information on positions and schedules of various cruise ships serving tourists across the world. With its Cruise ships and ports database, the website provides information on features and technical specifications of each cruise and information for major ports that house the cruise ships.
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