How does it work?
How do I get access?
How do I log in?
Is there a free account?
Why are there no ships at my location?
How do I search for a ship?
How can I find out about a vessel's speed or heading?
How old are the reports?
How can I see a picture of the vessel?
I want to see my fleet, is this possible?
What other options are there?
Do I need to physically located near the vessel to see the data?
Can I use ShipTracks for navigational purposes?
What do the different color ships icons mean?
ShipTracks works by picking up Automatic Identification System, or AIS feeds that continually exchanges navigational information. Using global navigational positioning systems, shipboard sensors, and digital VHF radio communication equipment, any vessel equipped with an on-board AIS system transmits its exact location and other navigational information to all AIS-equipped ships and ShipTracks’ shore-based receivers in its vicinity. This information is then forwarded from the receivers to our secure servers over the internet and accessed by customers via ShipTracks Desktop and iPhone App displays to show real-time vessel position information.
Back to top
Current ShipTracks customers can use their desktop user ID (email) and password to receive immediate access to the App. This is available to at no charge.
If you do not have a login, please visit our login info page for details on gaining access.
Users are automatically brought to the login page upon downloading the app. Enter your ShipTracks Desktop email ID and password for access; please note that information entered is case sensitive. If you need to reenter your information, you can find the login screen under the settings icon.
Access to the App is free for ShipTracks customers. If your company has an account, but you do not have a desktop login, an App-only login is available for $10/month. If you are not a subscriber and your company does not have an account, please contact our office for a demonstration or register for 14-days trial access. The trial does not include access to the App.
More than likely, we do not have coverage in your area or the site is temporarily down. We are continually growing our international network of AIS receivers and would be glad to talk with you about getting coverage in your area. Please read about adding coverage or contact us if you would like to share a feed.
Click the magnifying glass (search icon) and you will see a list of vessels in the current view. Type in first few letters of the name and click on the name to center on the vessel. If you are looking for a vessel that is not in your current view, you must select the search button to query for it in all of our data feeds.
Select a vessel by touching the vessel icon or its name and a small info field will come up displaying name, type of vessel and destination. Select the arrow on the field for full information from the on-board AIS unit.
We update the app once a minute with the latest report we receive from the vessel. Verify the age of the report by looking at ‘last update’ in the AIS information. Time is in UTC. You can also select the refresh icon to see the latest reports.
We are starting a photo database to display vessel pictures alongside their AIS information. Please email any photos you have along with the vessel name and MMSI to
Yes - if you have a default fleet set up under your ShipTracks desktop login, that is what you will see when you log in to the App. You can create as many fleets as you would like, and then 'save as default' under the fleet menu on the desktop version. If you would like to see all vessels, select 'clear display fleet' and then 'set current value as default'.
We are working on the next release of the which will include more fleet management directly from the App.
Select the wrench icon for settings of your app. You have the ability to turn on and off: directional plot lines, vessel movement, auto refresh, icons for stopped vessels (balloon instead of ship icon), and showing your current location as a blue radial. Here you can also change the map view (satellite, hybrid, street).
No, you can view the ship data regardless of your physical location. You also have the ability to save views that you frequently use. Use the plus icon to save preset views and access them through the bookmark icon.
No. ShipTracks is not designed nor intended for navigational purposes.
Stationary vessels can be shown as either standard icons or balloon shapes
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.