There are 24,000 cargo ships worldwide. They are essential to international trade. And yet the process for booking a given cargo on a ship is grossly inefficient.
Today, both vessel owners and cargo charterers rely on brokers to represent them. Hundreds of emails and phone calls are often needed to finalize a transaction. In addition, each broker charges a 1.25% commission, adding a total 2.5% surcharge to the total fee.
Worse still, ships are often empty in one direction as there is no central database to facilitate finding a Charterer who would want to book the space. Empty ships add overhead, waste energy and ultimately cost the Charterer.
VesselBot has stepped into this niche with a platform that will serve the ~ 70% of traffic comprising dry bulk goods or oil.Our SaaS-enabled marketplace provides Charterers and Vessel Owners with strategic, operating, and financial efficiencies: each side is able to identify quickly the best possible transport counterpart for less than half of current broker fees.
While broker-only firms may be displaced by VesselBot, the many major shipping firms with internal brokers will be incentivized to use the platform to lower their overhead.
Our algorithm is designed to match possible counterparts seamlessly based on a number of factors. The parties can then enter negotiations with the best matches. Instead of relying on phone and email, their negotiations can be handled via our platform.
Once the terms are finalized, we provide an online contract that can be signed by both parties. Our database will improve with time as both parties will be asked to rate their experience once the cargo is delivered.
Our team has extensive experience in and connections with the shipping industry that will help us to overcome the conservative nature of most Vessel Owners and Charterers.
We soft-launched last week at Posidonia exhibition, the industry’s largest trade show in Greece. We are planning a full launch by the end of the year and to reach breakeven in 2018.