Integrated eCommerce platform unveiled

Jun 07 2019

An integrated maritime eCommerce platform - - has been launched by Marine Online.

This platform was designed for the highly specialised and fragmented shipping industry. Currently, more than 10,000 product listings and 4,000 service providers have started to use the platform.

It provides over 10 services, including chartering, bunkering, port agency, ship supply, crewing, and S&P.

Stephen Qi, Marine Online COO, 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.

“Marine Online spent three years developing, with great ambitions to cut operational costs, improve efficiency and promote transparency within the maritime ecosystem, and eventually to bring sustainable profitability back to the industry.

“This one stop integrated maritime platform, accessible via online and through its mobile app, enables sellers from all over the world to list their products and services,” he said.

Marine Online has designed two features to cater for the buyer’s preference when trading on the platform.

First - 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.

More importantly, all transactions and evaluation data will be reflected in the sellers' overall credit system in – crucial information which 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.

Second - M-DAQ support to reduce transaction and forex risk.

MarineOnline partnered with fintech company, M-DAQ, to develop the online payment system. M-DAQ said it helps customers save on foreign exchange costs when transacting on as the FX rates are guaranteed and more attractive, compared to using the open market.

The guarantee payment is similar to Alipay and provides an escrow service, operating as a standalone payment portal, protecting the intersts of both buyer and seller, the company explained.

"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.” said Tiger Cai, Vice President of Marine Online.

Marine Online 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.

Vice President Bruno Bai, added: “In three to six months, we intend to unlock even more exciting features and functions for our customers. As 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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