The Ultimate Guide to Maritime Data 2021
What is Maritime Data?
Maritime data is information all about ships and other maritime vessels, in particular their movements around the globe. Similarly, maritime data can tell about a vessel’s different port calls as well as basic details about the vessel itself.
Many companies rely on maritime data to keep their businesses operating smoothly, for example ports can use this information to ensure that no backlog of ships builds up at the port, but rather to ensure that there is a continuous stream of vessels coming in and out.
How is Maritime Data collected?
There are many different ways of collecting maritime data depending of the type of data that is being provided.
Ship movements - Data about a ship or other maritime vessel’s movements is collected by using current location data. This location data is often provided through signals produced by the ship which are recorded as coordinates and tell you where the vessel currently is using the satellite network. Alternatively, port entry and exit data is collected to tell you when a vessel arrived or left a specific port, however unlike location data this doesn’t translate to real-time tracking or ‘nowcasts’.
Vessel information - Basic details about a vessel, such as its name, type and ownership, is collected through different records. Ships and other maritime vessels have to be registered and recorded to be seaworthy and this information is collected by data providers and used to populate datasets about vessel information.
Port data - Ports generate a wealth of maritime data. They record which vessels are entering or leaving the port as well as basic information such as the vessel’s name - from the smallest dinghy, to the largest supertanker. Data providers collect these details and refine them into manageable datasets for different businesses.
What are the attributes of Maritime Data?
A maritime dataset will typically provide certain different data points about maritime vessels.
Vessel location - Most commonly, a maritime dataset will provide real-time information about different vessels’ locations across the globe. It may also provide details about their planned route, such as their next expected port of call, but this depends on the dataset.
Vessel information - Some maritime datasets will provide information about different vessels. This is usually their characteristics, such as their flags, names, ownership history as well as technical characteristics or usage purpose (ie. are they a commercial or industrial vessel?)
Port information - Additionally, a maritime dataset might give you port information. This is usually administrative maritime data, such as which vessels are currently docked in port as well as historical docking records.
What is Maritime Data used for?
Businesses rely on maritime data for a whole host of reasons. Shipping and logistics companies use maritime data to find the real-time location of vessels around the world. Other businesses also use maritime data for a similar reason, especially retailers or suppliers to track the movement of shipments.
Maritime data and vessel location data can also be used to ensure efficient ship routing, fleet tracking as well as traffic pattern analysis to keep vessels moving as efficiently as possible.
Port authorities use administrative maritime data to ensure that the port itself remains operational and runs smoothly. They used vessel entrance and exit information to ensure that there are not too many vessels docked at any one point. Additionally, maritime data can be used for cargo management such as to ensure efficient cargo handling and commodity tracking.
How can a user assess the quality of Maritime Data?
The best maritime datasets will provide real-time vessel location information which is updated regularly. This information also needs to be accurate and reliable as businesses rely on being able to track vessel locations easily.
Port records and administrative records must also be accurate and up-to-date as logistics companies rely on use maritime data analytics to keep marine traffic running smoothly.
You should always make sure to read the data provider’s reviews before buying and ask for a data sample in advance of purchase to ensure that their maritime data matches your business’ needs.
Who are the best Maritime Data providers?
Finding the right Maritime Data provider for you really depends on your unique use case and data requirements, including budget and geographical coverage. Popular Maritime Data providers that you might want to buy Maritime Data from are Datalastic, MariTrace, ShipsDNA, Petabite, and Windward.
Where can I buy Maritime Data?
Data providers and vendors listed on Datarade sell Maritime Data products and samples. Popular Maritime Data products and datasets available on our platform are Datalastic Vessel Location Monitoring | Maritime API | Maritime Traffic Data by Datalastic, ShipsDNA MaritimeData: Global vessel (Ships) Inspection dataset by ShipsDNA, and Petabite Maritime Data: Extracted ship sightings from space based on Sentinel-2 Level 2 data with first level of pixel identification by Petabite.
How can I get Maritime Data?
You can get Maritime Data via a range of delivery methods - the right one for you depends on your use case. For example, historical Maritime Data is usually available to download in bulk and delivered using an S3 bucket. On the other hand, if your use case is time-critical, you can buy real-time Maritime Data APIs, feeds and streams to download the most up-to-date intelligence.