Maritime Traffic Data Resource

 

The shipping and ports sector has undergone a real revolution in recent years following international legislation that requires monitoring of ship traffic around the world, by using automated tracking systems (Automatic identification system- AIS). Motivated by maritime safety considerations,  every ship is obliged to transmit (via VHF transmitter) every few seconds details of several parameters of the voyage, including fixed and variable data such as the type of ship (tanker, aggregator, etc.), ports of origin and destination, current location, and more.

Most of the global merchant fleet data is collected into huge databases containing historical information of multiple parameters for approximately 120,000 ships from 2007 to the present day,  with billions of rows of information to which millions of rows are added every day. Application of data science methods to this  vast repository of ships, world lanes, ports and more, can help  identify trends with geo-political  or economical implications, detect unusual activity, study and understand trade paths and the impact of global events on these paths, and much more.  For example:


1. General international trade by type (ore, car, livestock and all commodities requiring a dedicated ship)
2. Energy trade (oil and gas tankers)
3. Monitoring trade of countries under international sanctions
4. Monitoring polluting ships
5. Tracking of world cruise tourism (touring points, Investment in tourism infrastructure, etc.)
6. Monitor fishing activities in ecologically sensitive areas and enforce fishing quotas.
7. Monitoring the search and production of seabed minerals.
8. Correlation between ship routes and weather
9. Tracking the global movement of goods and the correlation with trade data for such commodities such as stock exchange data, oil barrel price, etc.

 

Movement of oil tankers in the mediterranean sea


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The Maritime Traffic data resource of real-time and historical data is available through the Vidra Division for Shipping and Ports (part of of the Center for Marine Policy and Strategy Research, headed by Professor Shaul Horev), under  the School of Political Science and the School of Marine Science at the University of Haifa. The division welcomes researchers who are interested in collaborative research, and also provides funding for postgraduate and graduate students in the field.

For more details, see project description in hebrew

Contacts:

Ehud Gonen

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