9 websites and apps for those who work with cargo ships

  • 17/12/2019
  • 12 minutes

Operating in maritime trade is much easier when you use websites and apps for those who work with cargo ships. In Free On Board (FOB) operations where the seller’s obligations end when shipping the goods, some of these apps are indispensable.

However, all shipping agency professionals can benefit from putting the practicality of mobile internet at the service of navigation. After all, those who operate in ports and trade offshore cannot expose themselves to the risks inherent in the sector.

Therefore, we asked Marcela Rosman, of Aries Shipping, to recommend us what she considers the best virtual resources for professionals in the commercial maritime segment. Check them out!

1. Marine Traffic Ship Position

Operational system: website, Android, and iOS.

According to Rosman, “Marine Traffic Ship Position is my favorite app. It gives you a complete live overview of vessels such as port of destination, draft, port of origin, MMSI, call sign, and much more”.

The app is connected to the AIS receiver network, thus ensuring coverage of the busiest ports and shipping routes. In it, you can also see wind forecasts for the next 48 hours on the map. In addition, the app provides an animated reproduction of the vessel’s course. It is excellent for checking ship position and for getting a summary of the ship description.

2. Ship Finder

Operational system: website, Android, and iOS.

Like Marine Traffic Ship Position, Ship Finder shows a real-time chart of navigation around the world. By accessing the world map, the number of vessels in operation per country and the total number being monitored is immediately displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.

By zooming in, you can see in even more detail the position of each ship that makes its location available through the app, which also uses the AIS receiver network. Thus, a boat only appears on the screen if it allows the app/website to disclose its location. This permission can be granted by clicking on “coverage” at the top of the screen.

3. HidroWeb

Operational system: website, Android, and iOS.

HidroWeb is developed by professionals from the Brazilian NGO Ecoa. This is the “(…) non-governmental organization that emerged in 1989 in Campo Grande, capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, formed by a group of researchers who work in various segments”.

Through the app, which can also be accessed via browser, it is possible to collect various data about the National Hydrometeorological Network (RHN), such as:

  • rain;
  • river levels;
  • flow rates;
  • climatology;
  • sediments;
  • water quality.

The application integrates the so-called National Water Resources Information System (SNIRH) and is even indicated by the National Water Agency (ANA) as a reference in maritime intelligence.

Therefore, it is one of the most relevant cargo vessel websites and apps for those who work with cargo ships and don’t want to be caught by surprise by tides or rainfall.

4. Boletim ao Mar (“Bulletin at Sea”)

Operational system: Android and iOS.

Another public authority that develops a useful application for those operating in maritime trade is the Brazilian Navy. With support from the Rumo do Mar Institute (RUMAR), the Sea Bulletin, according to the website itself, is described as an app that provides:

“Dynamic and accurate information of the chosen area with the trust and credibility that the Brazilian Navy provides to ships and vessels throughout the entire Brazilian maritime area.”

Through it, it is possible to know in real time weather and navigation data such as:

  • bad weather warnings;
  • nautical radio;
  • meteorology;
  • meteograms;
  • warning to mariners;
  • synoptic letter.

5. Knods 3D

Operational system: Android and iOS.

Knowledge about the hundreds of types of knots is critical for maritime professionals. Ropes tied with the right knot ensure support, practicality, and the accomplishment of various tasks on board.

The most interesting thing about Knods 3D, in this aspect, is that it offers visualization of each of the registered nodes in three-dimensional format. This makes it much easier to understand the composition of the knot, helping both in its formation and to untie it.

6. Seabook

Operational system: Android and iOS.

Designed for everyone who studies or works at sea, Seabook serves as a source of information for seafarers and shore professionals. Accessible offline, the app serves as a reference tool to gauge key elements of a ship’s stability, with detailed data on:

  • sea ​​navigation;
  • country flags;
  • knots;
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS);
  • International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREG);
  • international code of signs;
  • naval engineering.

7. Ar Bearing + Baseplate Compass

Operational system: Android and iOS.

Ar Bearing + Baseplate Compass, on the other hand, has the advantage of using the augmented reality feature to provide navigation data. That is, it works like a compass, to which technology based on satellite location is added and coupled to the camera phone.

The features of the free version include:

  • compass with rotating dial and precise heading indication;
  • the compass background can be adjusted for viewing or camera photo, a useful feature for those who have maps stored as images;
  • 2-mode scrolling compass, ruler overlay, and display overlay;
  • 4 different levels of overlay transparency;
  • sensor accuracy indication;
  • autofocus and macro focus;
  • zoom;
  • automatic detection and calibration of the field of view;
  • sensor refresh rate settings;
  • sensor filtering settings.

8. Marinus ColRegs Lite

Operational system: Android and iOS.

In addition to useful information on navigation and International and Morse Codes, maneuvering data, lights, buoys, flags, and beeps, Marinus ColRegs Lite has a fun quiz to pass the time. It can also be used to consult the International Regulation to Prevent Collisions at Sea (RIPEAM), the main maritime traffic standard.

9. Vessel Lights

Operational system: Android.

Vessels also use reference lights to signal maneuvering or even to show their location, thus avoiding collisions and bumps. Learning the various codes for using these lights can be done using the Vessel Lights app.

Just like a microcourse, you can start on the app by studying the 38 codes of RIPEAM. Then, proceed to practice and, finally, test your knowledge on a final exam.

With so many websites and apps for those who work with cargo ships, which one to choose? According to Marcela Rosman, the first criterion is necessity. Anyone who does not sail or is not at sea will not need an app to monitor the position of vessels across the globe, for example — it all depends on common sense and on the demand in question.

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