Maritime analytics company Windward has appointed Simon Ring as global head of trade and shipping technologies, with demand tipped to continue growing for solutions to track illicit activity at sea. 

Ring reports to Issey Ende, vice president of sales at Tel Aviv-headquartered Windward, which provides vessel tracking and analysis services to help companies avoid exposure to illegal activity such as sanctions evasion. 

He joins after more than a decade at Pole Star, where roles included global head of maritime and trade technologies, as well as ESG, in a role focused on the banking and commodity trading sectors. 

“As illicit activity in maritime trade continues to increase and becomes complex, the technology that supports the industry needs to evolve also,” Ring tells GTR. 

“Windward is the only AI technology company in this space, and has for several years been developing groundbreaking technology. In my view this will become the default compliance and risk management solution of choice for the maritime trade and financing sectors going forward.” 

His appointment comes as banks, traders and shipping companies face growing pressure to use technology to identify deceptive practices at sea. 

Since 2020, sanctions regulators in the US and UK have urged industry participants to pay closer attention to potential red flags, including switching off or manipulating location transmissions, or adopting false vessel identities. 

The issue has been thrust into the limelight since western restrictions on Russian oil trade.  

Measures such as trading bans and a US$60 price cap have prompted the Kremlin to obtain a vast fleet of ageing tankers, allowing the country to continue moving crude and petroleum without relying on services from nations that have imposed sanctions.