Spire's 40 Satellites Beam into World Ships

Sandra Ukele

About 90 per cent of trade happens across the sea and "the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world is by sea," so says the International Maritime Organisation.

Each day tens of thousands of vessels make their way across the ocean, from cargo ships to cruise liners and fishing boats, the queue is endless.

However, keeping record of all such trade does not come easy . Probably, that is why Spire Global , one of the companies in the Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startups list, comes to the fore.

According to Forbes, Spire Global has a constellation of 40 satellites in the orbit, taking snapshots of the world's oceans. The satellites send over 10 million messages a day filled with ship date.

"We can look at ships in a given area, see where they are, where they are heading and where they will be in the future," says Kyle Brazil, Manager Spire Sense  Product.

This ability to track ships comes from Spires business model. Unlike traditional satellite companies that build large, expensive satellites aimed at lasting decades, Spire builds smaller, cheaper satellites that can be constructed and launched quickly.

This means the company is able to improve and upgrade its satellite technology  with every launch giving more capabilities to its data products on the ground.

The company thinks it is ready to transform the way shipping is tracked and predicted allowing its customers to make business decisions with high quality data.

In Brazil's remarks, "Is a ship going to arrive in a port on time? Is it entering an area it is not supposed to be. Having those answers allows people make decisions instead of just reacting," Brazil affirms.


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