How we help you to solve the AIS data availability problem

Automatic Identification System gaps

The maritime industry has embraced the AIS technology (Automatic Identification System). Originally designed to reduce vessel collisions, nowadays the technology is widely used to forecast economic trends, business analysis, and to optimise vessel performance. But anyone working with AIS data knows the issue of thransmission gaps. These gaps leave all stakeholders in the dark.

It is good to realise that the vast majority of AIS transmission gaps worldwide are not deliberate. The most common reason for gaps in AIS transmissions is that vessels are simply not detected. This can be caused by:

  • Poor coverage (no close terrestrial stations or no satelite coverage
  • Overcrowded areas, which cause signal interference (also called High Traffic Zones, a bit like a lot of people shouting in a room)
  • Weather conditions (thunderstorms)
  • GPS jamming, known in areas like Syria.

Other reasons for gaps are more intentional of nature, like switching off AIS in piracy regions or to hide dark activities.

New AIS Data challenges ahead

Another risk has appeared just recently. Ships in Chinese waters are disappearing from tracking systems following the recent introduction of a new privacy laws in China. Many shipping sources and data suppliers are directly impacted.

Some report a staggering 45 to almost 100% reduction in AIS terrestrial data positions, like Freightwaves.

How we help you to manage AIS coverage risk

To manage risk in this environment, We4Sea is working closely with several AIS data providers. This to have the most and right data points, and merging them in a meaningful way. By doing so, we reached a 95% global position coverage, even in high traffic zones like South China Sea, North Sea and Mediterrenean.

Only with the right data and tools in place can vessel activity be accounted for. That’s why we continually collect, process, and store AIS data to analyze vessel movements and behaviors. Multiple AIS data sources help us to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the data.

Thanks to this, we will minimize the impact due to this terrestrial AIS data blackout.

We are therefore able to maintain regular business operations, and support our customers best.

Interested how we boost coverage? Let's talk!