01 Aug 2018
Paul Cyr
Manager of Partnerships

US industry heavyweights team up to integrate marine operations and AIS platforms, allowing better data-based decision-making in vessel operations.

Victoria, BC – Marine operations software developer Helm Operations announced today that it has launched a new partnership with leading AIS data services provider ShipTracks. The partnership will integrate the two company’s platforms, allowing users of Helm CONNECT to seamlessly access vessel location and route data provided by ShipTracks. The move is the first partnership between the two North American software companies.

ShipTracks & Helm CONNECTHelm Operations is the developer behind the world’s fastest growing marine operations platform, Helm CONNECT, which provides vessel dispatch and billing, maintenance, compliance, and personnel management to some 3000 assets globally. Helm CONNECT is used by more than 40% of the American Waterways Operators fleet, the largest vessel-owning organization in North America.

New Orleans-based ShipTracks helps the maritime industry make better decisions with real-time vessel position information through AIS mapping. Today, the company works with 7 of the top 10 inland towing companies in the US, including Foss and Enterprise, as well as major oil companies, and shipping companies such as Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The tie-in is an important milestone for Helm Operations and the first of many according to CEO, Ron deBruyne. “With Helm CONNECT, we’ve grown from nothing to nearly 3000 assets using our software in just two years since entering the market. We’ve done that by bringing cutting-edge technology and approaches to the market. Moving forward, our goal is to work with other leading maritime technology companies to further the pace of innovation and provide better tools for our customers. Our work with ShipTracks is a great example of that approach.”

The partnership fits clearly with the vision that ShipTracks Founder and CEO, Charles Riley had when he established the company in 2008. “Our goal has always been to help vessel operators take advantage of the data provided by AIS technology, allowing them to run their businesses and their assets more effectively and efficiently”, says Charles. “We see great value in partnering with Helm Operations. By tying our software platforms together, it makes both products better for our users and will provide greater business intelligence for our customers.”

Helm CONNECT Product Manager Andrew Kroesen, who leads the integration development work for Helm lays out the benefits of the partnership: “Working with Shiptracks, we’ve made it possible for all Helm CONNECT users to access ShipTracks functionality like vessel location and route history from within Helm CONNECT. These features were previously available only to ShipTracks subscribers and are now integrated into our web-based platform.”

“While there are benefits for all Helm CONNECT subscribers, users of Helm CONNECT Jobs, our vessel dispatch and billing system, should see great value from this feature set.  For dispatchers and sales personnel at these companies, quick access to exact ship/resource positions will help them able to make more informed decisions about which resources to use on a job and how to best schedule their vessel operations.” says Kroesen.

The first version of the integrated features will be available to all customers of Helm CONNECT in the company’s summer update, slated for release in early August. This integration is only the first step in collaboration for the company.

“Working with ShipTracks, we’ve developed an infrastructure that will allow us to expand the capabilities of our integration going forward, and we’re actively exploring integrating more advanced ShipTracks’ features like geo-fencing and operational alarms into Helm CONNECT as we move forward,” says Kroesen.