In 2015, the Philippine Ports Authority’s Port Management Office (PMO) of Surigao put in place an Automatic Identification System (AIS) shore-based station at the Port of Surigao. Primarily acquired and installed as Aid to Navigation (AtoN), its usage then was limited to tracking vessels moored within the 10-kilometer radius covered by the standalone AIS using the proprietary software bundled with the AIS equipment.
Later that year, the PMO found an “innovative” use of the AIS system. By entering into a data collaboration agreement with MarineTraffic, monitoring the operations of distant ports by way of AIS proved to be a boon for the PMO. By connecting the AIS station to a web-based global AIS network such as of MarineTraffic, the Port of Surigao gained access to a variety of services such as keeping a “voyage history” of all vessels tracked by (a registered AIS Station) for a specified number of days. This meant that an AIS-equipped vessel can be tracked by the Surigao station through its “movements” from the date of its arrival (or the day it was first tracked) up to its last (tracked) position in the area within the station’s coverage. The “movement” data of a particular ship is kept and accessible for 60 days. In return, our station provides AIS data to the global MarineTrafic AIS network.
This proved to be a valuable tool in determining the actual characteristics of vessels’ port calls and thus collecting the correct port charges. It is expected that the alliance with MarineTraffic would lead to more innovative data collaboration schemes with other stakeholders in the global maritime industry.