Data Explained

Maritime Data: Ultimate Guide to Best Providers & Use Cases 2023

Maritime Data: Ultimate Guide to Best Providers & Use Cases 2023

What is maritime data? Why is it important?

Maritime data is a valuable resource for those who work in the maritime industry, as well as anyone connected to logistics, supply chain, and cargo management. Indirectly, we’re all affected by maritime events - as we’re all consumers of the goods being shipped!

Marine traffic data

An important sub-category of maritime data is marine traffic data. Marine traffic data provides insight into the movement of vessels and cargo around the world. It can provide information about ship movements, cargo tracking, and other maritime activities, making it a valuable tool for those who need to monitor and manage their operations. This data can be used by ship operators, port authorities, and other stakeholders to ensure that vessels are following the correct routes and that cargo is being delivered safely and on time. Marine traffic data can also be used to identify potential hazards, such as ship collisions, and to plan and optimize the operations of shipping companies.

Who are the top maritime data providers?

Maritime data providers are an essential part of the maritime industry, providing vital information to ship operators, port authorities, and other stakeholders. These providers offer advanced analytics and predictive models, allowing companies to streamline their operations and reduce costs.

Here are the best maritime data providers to have on your radar - sorry, nautical pun - in 2023:

1. GateHouse Maritime

With over 20 years of industry experience, GateHouse Maritime is an authority in ocean and maritime data. The company's vessel tracking API offers live maritime intelligence for reliable ocean surveillance. GateHouse Maritime's data is trusted by shipping companies and port operators worldwide to ensure supply chain and logistics run smoothly. With over 270 billion data points, GateHouse Maritime is a leading DaaS provider.

2. ShipsDNA

ShipsDNA provides reliable data, information systems, and blockchain solutions for the maritime industry. The company’s datas include: vessel technical specification, ownership information, sales & purchase transactions, ship valuations, and demolition records

3. Spire

Spire specializes in offering developer-friendly APIs to deliver live maritime data. The company has competitive ocean coverage. Spire's maritime vessel tracking data range of solutions combines Satellite AIS, Terrestrial AIS, and Dynamic AIS™, and is delivered via fast, reliable APIs or TCP stream.

4. Datalastic

Datalastic covers all marine sector information about marine objects locations: find historical and real-time data about ships, container vessels, fishing boats, cruise liners and more.

By using maritime data providers such as these , companies can gain a greater insight into the movement of their vessels and cargo, helping them to plan and manage their operations more effectively.

Who uses maritime data?

Maritime data can also be used to improve the efficiency and safety of maritime operations. By monitoring the movements of vessels and cargo, companies can identify potential risks and plan ahead to avoid any disruption. Advanced analytics and predictive models can be used to optimize routes, improve safety, and reduce costs. Additionally, APIs and other data integration tools can be used to provide real-time updates on vessel and cargo movements, allowing companies to track their vessels more accurately and to react quickly to any changes in their operations.

What are the use cases of maritime data?

Maritime data has a wide range of uses, from ocean surveillance to fleet tracking and cargo management.

Ocean surveillance

Ocean surveillance is essential for supply chain management, as it can help to identify potential risks and hazards that could affect the safe and timely delivery of cargo. By monitoring the movement of vessels and cargo throughout the ocean, supply chain managers can plan for any potential issues and ensure that shipments are delivered on time. Ocean surveillance can provide real-time data about the position and condition of vessels, allowing supply chain managers to make informed decisions about their operations. With the right tools and data, supply chain managers can ensure that goods are delivered safely and on time.

Fleet tracking

Companies interested in fleet tracking APIs have a variety of options. Many providers offer APIs that allow companies to integrate their own systems with the tracking data. This allows them to monitor and manage the movement of their vessels in real time. By using APIs, companies can gain access to up-to-date tracking data and can respond quickly to any changes in the movement of their vessels. Companies can also use APIs to integrate their own systems with other tracking services, allowing them to track vessels more efficiently and accurately.

AIS vessel detection

Automatic Identification System (AIS) vessel detection is a valuable tool for tracking vessels and cargo. AIS data is collected by satellite and terrestrial receivers and can provide real-time insight into the position and movements of vessels around the world. This data can be used to identify potential risks, such as ship collisions, and to optimize routes for efficient operations.

What are some recent examples of maritime data in action?

Maritime data providers are an increasingly valuable asset as we face obstruction and uncertainty in our most fundamental processes, like getting commodities from A to B. Travel chaos, supply chain disintegration, and shipping disaster cause disruption on a global scale. These recent events highlight the importance of quality maritime data to mitigate disruption.


In recent times, the maritime industry has been facing a variety of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has caused global disruption to the supply chain, with the maritime sector being particularly impacted. This is due to the closure of ports, disruption of trade routes, and increased difficulty in obtaining maritime-related services.

Additionally, the pandemic has caused a shortage of crew members, leading to delays in the movement of vessels and cargo. The crisis has had a significant impact on the maritime industry, causing disruptions to operations and placing additional strain on the supply chain. So it’s more important than ever for shipping companies to make data-driven decisions. This added layer of intelligence can have huge ROI, as companies can respond to disruption in as little time as possible to reduce financial damage.

Suez Canal obstruction

The incident involving the Ever Given container ship in March 2021, which ran aground in the Suez Canal, caused significant disruption to the global maritime industry. The ship blocked the canal for six days, which resulted in a backlog of over 400 vessels waiting to pass through.

This caused delays to the movement of cargo and vessels, leading to significant disruption to the global supply chain. It also caused delays to the shipment of fuel, food, and other essential goods, negatively impacting the lives of many people around the world. Additionally, the incident caused an increase in shipping costs, as many companies had to reroute their vessels to avoid the blockage.

The Ever Given crisis highlighted the importance of maritime data and advanced analytics, as these can help to identify potential risks and optimize operations, helping to avoid such disruptions in the future.

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