Shipping traffic

Since 2005, real time AIS data on ship movements in the Baltic Sea has been shared regionally between coastal countries and the EU, via the so called HELCOM AIS network, from spring 2017 hosted by the Norwegian Coastal Administration and regulated by the HELCOM AIS Expert Working Group. Since 2005 the same shared AIS data has also been stored in a historic HELCOM AIS database -for later use in regional policy making and studies. Several countries, as well as the HELCOM Secretariat, maintain copies of this database.


HELCOM can provide access to AIS database as outlined in the HELCOM Recommendation 33/1, Unified interpretation in relation to access to and use of HELCOM AIS. In case of a data request, please contact HELCOM Secretariat.​

AIS raw data contains information on ship location, routes and parameters as contained in AIS messages. For further details about AIS encoding, please see U.S. Navigation center AIS overview

Aggregated data products about shipping traffic in the Baltic Sea can be obtained from HELCOM thematic Maritime & Response map service, under Maritime & Response -> Maritime traffic statistics. The folder includes e.g. Baltic wide HELCOM AIS average shipping density raster map and AIS passage line crossing statistics 2006-2012.


With part funding from the EUHASPS project HELCOM developed in 2016 a pilot for the web based HELCOM AIS Explorer tool which allows you to compare, by ship type and date, Baltic Sea shipping traffic intensity maps. The pilot version displays the shipping density maps for the southern Baltic originally created for the SCOPE project.