Singapore-based Marine Online has launched the world’s first integrated maritime eCommerce platform, that features more than 10,000 product listings and 4,000 service providers, offering more than 10 marine services, including chartering, bunkering, port agency, ship supply, crewing, ship S&P.
Mr Stephen Qi, Chief Operating Officer of Marine Online said: “Shipowners form the core of the shipping industry and is the source of business for all marine suppliers. However, recent global economic uncertainties place tremendous strain on shipowners to maintain their operations and this vicious cycle continues downstream to their suppliers”. He added that the company spent three years developing this platform, aiming at “cut operational costs, improve efficiency and promote transparency within the maritime ecosystem”.
The marketplace is available online and via its mobile app (both on Google Android and Apple iOS), enabling sellers across the globe to list their products and services.
To meet the custumer needs and preferences, the company said its marketplace was designed around two key components: an artificial intelligence (AI) “Powered request-for-quotation” (RFQ) platform and an online payment system developed by fintech company, M-DAQ.
AI powered “Request for Quotation” (“RFQ”)
Shipowners can either request for multiple quotations at a click of a button or simply checkout from the eStore. With the “RFQ” tool, shipowners can reduce the time and cost spent on searching for the right supplier allowing easy comparison of products and quotations, overcoming time, language and cultural differences.
All transactions and evaluation data will be reflected in the sellers’ overall credit system in eMarineOnline.com – something that will aid in the shipowners’ decision making process. This function addresses an important aspect of purchasing in the maritime industry as transaction values tend to be in the hundreds and thousands of dollars range and carry a higher transactional risk.
Award-winning M-DAQ support to reduce transaction and forex risk
To develop the online payment system, Marine Online has partnered with an award-winning homegrown fintech company, M-DAQ Pte Ltd. M-DAQ helps Marine Online’s customers save on foreign exchange costs when transacting on eMarineOnline.com as the FX rates are guaranteed and more attractive as compared to the open market. The guarantee payment provides an escrow service, operating as a stand-alone payment portal, protecting the interests of both buyer and seller.
About this, Mr Tiger Cai, Vice President of Marine Online said: “In this aspect, every supplier in Marine Online has an equal opportunity to take their business to the next level on the platform by gaining access to potential clients and providing excellent services to their customers. Additionally, credit has been the cornerstone in the marine industry for centuries. We hope to be able to develop a robust system and database, leveraging on data science to support a holistic financing system that helps business development, especially for small-medium businesses in the industry.”
Building on Big Data, AI, blockchain and other new technologies, Marine Online hopes to raise service and quality standards within the industry. It is also looking to expand into other regions, connecting all marine companies and expand port coverage to build an efficient, transparent business platform that brings benefits to the members and industry.
Mr Bruno Bai, Vice President of Marine Online added: “In three to six months, we intend to unlock even more exciting features and functions for our customers. As eMarineOnline.com grows with more suppliers and shipowners joining the platform, we will eventually launch a credit evaluation system, 3PL logistic support, review and rating as well as financing services, creating the fundamentals of a comprehensive eCommerce ecosystem.”
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