Articles written by Lars Brandstäter

Germany’s new deepwater port: Jade Weser Port opened

in Updates by

With the inauguration of the Jade-Weser-Port a few kilometers north of Wilhelmshaven, Germany has now its own deepwater port, able to handle the largest container ships of the world today. It is the most easterly deep-sea port in the European North Range, and approximately two thirds of the container traffic is exptected for transhipment to the European countries and Russia via feeder ships.

The location of the port, with an approach of only 23 miles, make it independent of the considerable tides in the German Bight and allow container ships and feeders to save valuable time and money.

The world’s biggest container ship company, Maersk, is the first customer at the Eurogate terminal and will route two different weekly loops over Jade Weser Port.

Look up for port arrivals and vessels currently in Jade Weser Port.

A few days before opening, MSC FLAMINIA, the container vessel that caught fire amidst the Atlantic in July and had to be abandoned by the crew, safely docked in the port for decontamination works.

ER – Engine Room, holiday season

in Updates by

It’s holiday season almost everywhere, but the guys in the FleetMon engine room just love their machines and don’t need any holidays at all (…ahem, well…). However, we spent the last weeks under deck for you, polishing the engines and tools.

Most important:

  • made FleetMon faster! We nearly doubled the mean speed already and that’s not the end yet!
  • fixed a problem where FleetMon Explorer would only show a gray window on startup (e.g., following Flash plugin update)
  • fixed a problem that caused duplicate entries in the vessel schedules

Now it’s time to push a few exciting projects we have started. Stay tuned!

Extended vessel schedules released

in Updates, Site Updates by

Knowing which vessels are expected in a port for several weeks in advance is a true business advantage that you should not miss.

Today, discover a new dimension of vessel schedule information at FleetMon now makes full voyage schedules, routes and intermediate ports available for a large number of vessels, providing you with a new set of possibilities and advantages. Vessel schedules and port arrivals functionality has been vastly improved.

FleetMon users save time and effort thanks to the comprehensive schedule information directly integrated in the vast Vessel Database. Know in advance where the vessels of your interest will pass by and which ports are visited next by looking up the voyage schedule on the vessel’s detail page.

Visit the ports of your interest and retrieve detailed information on the vessels scheduled to call in the weeks to come, for example in Hamburg, Dar Es Salaam, Surabaya, or Paramaribo. Find hundreds of ports around the world that have been added to FleetMon as part of the update.

Business analysts and researchers will appreciate that FleetMon’s powerful port call history benefits from the improvements, too. It’s easy to research a vessel’s port call history over months, for example to compare schedule and actual port calls, or to inspect the records of vessels of a given type that have called a port in a given time.

Advanced schedule data is available for a growing number of vessels. The timeframe available in schedule tables and in the history tables depends on your account level. Please refer to our Plans & Prices page for further information and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!

Delicious XML and JSON for you

in Updates, Site Updates by

Good news for the software developers among our users: Over the last weeks, many of you came to us asking whether it is possible to link own software to the FleetMon Vessel Database and make use of this vast resource of ship information. We listened, and here is the FleetMon Personal API!

It is an HTTP API that is available to any user now, out of the box. No need for setup or configuration – every user is given a Personal API key automatically. Whether XML or JSON tastes better for you as a data format, the Personal API is able to serve both, prepared freshly for you on every request.

We start off with two API functions:

The My Fleet API enables you to retrieve latest vessel positions and status from your personal My Fleet list with a simple HTTP request. It does not only return pure latitude and longitude, but a true wealth of information, including last port call detected, two photos, and current destination and ETA as reported by the ship.

My Fleet API example output

This way, you can, for example…

  • create your very own fleet position map for your company homepage or intranet,
  • add vessel position and status display to your in-house software,
  • automate monitoring of changes in the vessels’ estimated time of arrival,
  • implement your own alerting via e-mail or SMS based on vessel position and status,
  • record vessel position and behavior over time and run your own analyses,
  • much more…

Second, the Vessel Search API lets you look up vessels from the FleetMon Vessel Database and returns the URL of the appropriate vessel detail page. Search by IMO number, MMSI number and vessel name is supported.

If you have any of these available, you can easily point the users of your software to the detailed vessel information available on

Vessel Search API example output

Read more about the FleetMon Personal API, or start right off with the ready-to-use API URLs provided on your Personal API Info page (available after login).

My Fleet API data is updated once a day for Open accounts, four times per day for Pro accounts and every hour for Unlimited accounts. Please see the Plans and Prices page for details.

Should you require data and reports not accessible through the Personal API, our Customer API services may be for you.

Now, enjoy your XML meal! We are looking forward to your comments and success stories! Happy hacking and best regards, your FleetMon API team.

FleetMon Explorer with best precision in AIS track display, vessel category = label color

in Updates, Site Updates by

We are introducing a new shiny labeling display.

We made the display of the vessel tracks even more precise and introduced a new modus for the last track of a selected vessel. If the vessel is on its journey for more then 24h FM Explorer will recall the traveled route to the last port visited.
The new feature will give you more insight with just a single click.

detailed display of vessels track in FM Explorer


category colors in vessels name labels in FM Explorer



Colorful labels with the name of every vessel names
are making your monitoring live easier :-)
Read more…

Welcome to new AIS ports and areas! 2012-06

in Updates by

Welcome to new ports and areas with live AIS ship traffic on, Fleetmon Explorer and Fleetmon mobile! Here is the overdue May/June 2012 roundup … thanks to all AIS partners and everybody involved for the kind cooperation!

  • Thailand, Laem Chabang — a busy container port and Thailand’s biggest
  • Sri Lanka, Colombo — named the largest port in Southern Asia
  • Mexico, Veracruz — more to come on the Gulf of Mexico. Come on guys, we’re eager to see the new antennas online ;-)
  • Peru, Puerto Ilo — Bienvenido Peru! First port in this impressing country that stretches from the Pacific ocean to 6’700 meters in the Andes Mountains.
  • Italy, Palermo
  • Lithuania, Klaipeda — stronger antenna in this busy Baltic port
  • not to mention the complete coverage of Panama Canal – enjoy !


Shipspotter Kunadt: Paparazzo of Vesseltraffic

in Community by

What a special story of Hamburgs famous shipspotter Thomas Kunadt.
Over the last 15 Years he collected images and data for more then 300.000 vessels.
His passion for vessels brought him to over hundreds of ports worldwide.

It is fascinating to hear about his great engagement and love for a topic we follow deeply here.

Thomas Kunadt konzentriert sich seit vielen Jahren in seiner Arbeit als Fotograf auf Schiffe und hat in der Vergangenheit bereits mehrere Bildbände als Shipspotter verfasst. Sein neuestes Werk widmet sich Hamburger Reedereien und ihren Schiffen. Mit zahlreichen ganzseitigen Abbildungen und kompakten Flottenlisten bietet das Buch einen spannenden Blick auf die Schifffahrt in Hamburg.
Für dieses Projekt hat der Autor etwa 15 000 aus seinem Archiv ausgewählt. Die besten daraus finden sich in diesem Band.

Der Mann ist Weltmeister. Schiffsbeobachter nennt sich seine Spezies; international: “Shipspotter”. Kaum einer auf der Erde hat mehr Schiffe fotografiert als er, niemand hat mehr Schiffsdateien registriert als er. In dicken Aktenordnern lagern 80 000 Dias. Aus Zeiten der analogen Fotografie. Insgesamt hat Kunadt 310 000 Bilder gemacht; 180 000 Fotos sind auf seinem Rechner gespeichert. Unter dem Strich hat er 838 000 Schiffsnamen weltweit erfasst – etwa ab anno 1830. Das Ergebnis von 16 Jahren harter Arbeit. In Hamburg, aber auch in 112 anderen Häfen weltweit. Von Tasmanien bis Mombasa….

Thomas Kunadt: «Hamburger Reeder und ihre Schiffe.» Hamburg: Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft, 2010.

AUDIO German:
Hörpunkt Hafenkänge

Nehmen Sie sich eine Stunde und hören Sie: Der Hamburger Hafen Link:
Shipspotter Kunadt: Paparazzo des Schiffsverkehrs

Hamburger Abendblatt:

New on FleetMon: Vessel speed statistics and validity hints

in Updates, Site Updates by

With a small site update today, we are happy to announce two small but very useful new features on

For every active ship, FleetMon now records extensive speed statistics, so you can research average speed and maximum speed of about a quarter million vessels in the FleetMon Vessel Database right now!

Fleetmon knows average and maximum speed of more than a quarter milion vessels

Comparing “design speed” against the recorded, real-life speed and average performance is a most interesting and valuable information, for example in purchasing and chartering. Speed statistics values are available on Pro and Unlimited accounts.

Another new and practical feature are the new validity hints for vessel IMO number and Callsigns. Whenever Fleetmon comes across an IMO number or a call sign that it thinks is not valid — be it by transmission error or lazy configuration of the vessel’s AIS sender –, FleetMon will display a warning sign beneath it:

We hope that these new little tools are helpful for you! As always, let us know what you think about it – we’re looking forward to your feedback.

Yacht tracking reloaded: Speed Sailing “Round Skagen”

in Sponsoring by

The Fleetmon Team is thrilled to follow the racing yacht SPEEDSAILING SEB during the race “Round Skagen”. The SEB is a 60 footer, former Volvo Ocean Race participant now based in the Fleetmon hometown Rostock, and the “Round Skagen Race”, leading 510 nm from Helgoland Island around Denmark to Kiel, is said to be the longest and most challenging high seas race in Germany.

Speedsailing SEB in action, photo (c) Martin Kringel
Coming right on the heels of the Marathon, this is another yacht choosing the FleetMon Satellite Tracking service to track their voyage and keep friends, families and partners up to date.

And, what’s more: They are currently leading, with some 15 nm lead on the runner-up! Go, SEB!

We’ll keep you posted with updates here and on our Twitter account. German-speaking users may also check out the Speedsailing Facebook page and their blog.


Update for your viewing pleasure:

Hafengeburtstag: Best pic(k)s on the Photobox!

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A nice review of the Hamburg “Hafengeburtstag”, the traditional festival in celebration of Hamburg’s maritime heritage, has just been added to our ship lover’s photo app, the Fleetmon Photobox.

Enjoy some fine pickings from this event that show the famous “Schlepperballet” (tugs’ dance), the fire-fighting boats with their fountains, Aida cruise liners and much more on the Hamburg town skyline.

If you did not do so already, download the Fleetmon Photobox for iPhone/iPad and Android smartphones and tablets.
To see the Hafengeburtstag gallery, you may need to pull down the gallery list to the top to force a refresh.

The photos were kindly arranged by our fellow member Stevo, who also organizes regular ship spotting events in Dutch, Belgian and German ports. Recommended!