Case Study: Ricky Nilsson, Key Account Manager, MarineTraffic

Meet Ricky Nilsson of MarineTraffic who swapped his native Sweden for Oxford eight years ago.

Ricky Nilsson is a key account manager at MarineTraffic, the world’s number one ship tracking service, based at its Oxford office. MarineTraffic is a fast-growing Athens headquartered company that allows both companies and ordinary members of the public to track the world’s ships.

The web service tracks 163,000 ships a day and is used by 6 million visitors every month. Ricky’s day to day job involves working with companies around the world and making sure that they know where their cargoes are and make sense of the complexities of global maritime supply chains.

“Oxford may be about as far as you can get from the sea in the UK, but it’s an important hub for MarineTraffic. I love my job as we’re at the forefront of the new technology and big data industry as well as part of the hugely historical world of shipping,” says Ricky.

A frequent traveller, Ricky’s job takes him around the world, visiting clients and promoting the company’s services at conferences and tradeshows. Thanks to Ricky and MarineTraffic, millions of pounds worth of cargo can be tracked as it criss-crosses the oceans, allowing delays to be planned for.

Oxford may be about as far as you can get from the sea in the UK, but it’s an important hub for MarineTraffic

“All too often logistics companies book their cargo onto a ship, wave goodbye to it and don’t hear anything for another 15 days.”

But it is not just companies who make use of MarineTraffic.

“It’s hugely popular for the relatives of the millions of seafarers who can track where their loved ones are. We also work with governments to help track illegal fishing as well as support the work of charities and NGOs.”

Aged 38, Ricky Nilsson is originally from Sweden, but made Oxford his home 8 years ago, when he met his English partner. He admits that before working for MarineTraffic that he had no idea of quite how big and important the maritime industry is to both the British and the global economy.

“About 90% of all international cargo moves by sea at some stage in its journey,” he explains. “Our service really brings this to life. You can see all the world’s ships on our screens, where they’ve been and where they’re going, not to mention photos of the ships, technical details, their nationality and much more.”

Ricky believes that the UK’s maritime sector offers a huge number of interesting careers and would recommend any young person consider it as an option.

“It’s not just about going to sea – in my case, it’s all about combining the latest developments in big data and analytics with the ships at sea. Data is a fast-growing business – MarineTraffic has doubled year on year since I’ve been working here – and there will always be ships at sea.”

Click here to download details about a career in the UK maritime sector.