What is AIS Data and How is it Used in our Shipping and Logistics Platform CargoValue?

Essentially GPS tracking for ships, Automatic Identification System (AIS) is marine transportation tracking system operating by the use of transponders on board vessels in commercial or non-commercial use.

1) What is AIS data?

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) stipulates that all vessels in service (with a gross tonnage of more than 300MT) must have AIS installed as the system’s original and main functionality is to prevent collisions.

AIS transponders primarily provide information related to a vessel’s identity, position, course, and speed, and allows manual entry of destination, estimated time of arrival and draught. The data is continuously transmitted from vessels all around the globe and collected by satellite and shore-based stations.

2) How does AIS data work in the CargoValue solution?

With AIS data continuously transmitted from all vessels in service every second of the day, the data is aggregated and made available for commercial use through service providers.

Klaveness Digital uses such an AIS vendor to supply the data directly within the CargoValue solution in real-time.

This ensures CargoValue displays current vessel positions and can accurately advise how the vessel is performing against the original shipment plan and/or inventory requirements.

3) How accurate is the AIS data?

The primary function of AIS data is to provide vessels with a view of nearby marine traffic, and to continuously inform nearby vessels of their own position. This means AIS should be active at all times the vessel is navigating and makes AIS data an extremely reliable indicator of a vessel’s position and a reliable source of intel for predicting vessel and cargo arrivals.

However, there are exceptions where AIS transponders may be switched off (e.g. if deemed necessary for the safety or the security of the vessel) and in some rare cases human error onboard can contribute to the receipt of incorrect information. Although now becoming less and less common, there are some regions around the world that cannot yet guarantee sufficient satellite or shore-based coverage, and this can contribute to a delay in the receipt of the data.

4) How does Klaveness Digital ensure quality with the AIS data in CargoValue?

CargoValue purchases AIS data from one of the market-leading and most reputable market vendors.  This ensures we can offer a consistent, reliable service and that incorrect data points are removed. Addition, we perform our own checks to enhance the data set with analytics.

To provide customers with an ideal user experience and actionable insight CargoValue is integrated with the worldwide database of cargo vessels. Tracking is made possible for the customer simply by tracking the name or IMO number of a vessel.

Once a vessel is assigned to a shipment in CargoValue, alerts are generated from the AIS data should that vessel’s Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) change. With increased confidence in the reliability and accessibility of AIS data in recent years, customers have peace of mind in using the intel as an enabler for real-time decision making.

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