19 April 2001
Danish shipowner, J. Lauritzen, is now pushing 100% of purchasing electronically through ShipServ’s Tradenet, joining a rapidly growing community of 140 shipowners and leading suppliers
Whilst consolidation, restructuring, or worse, loom for many e-marketplaces, ShipServ is busy increasing its customer base and has been generating revenue since November 2000. As a provider of ship supply management solutions, ShipServ combines innovation with IT and operational skills as well as the substantial shipping experience of its staff. In March, the company handled 2,000 transactions and the value of the goods bought and sold through ShipServ’s TradeNet exceeded $800,000. These numbers will rise substantially as new clients increase volume.
One such company using ShipServ’s ship supply management solutions is the Danish shipowner, J. Lauritzen. Having thoroughly researched the e-commerce options available to them they decided to integrate their Logimatic purchasing system with the ShipServ TradeNet hub. They now conduct 100% of their procurement through Tradenet. J. Lauritzen’s Purchasing Manager, Henrik Steffensen, speaking at a workshop with ShipServ, Logimatic and suppliers in Copenhagen today, said:
‘TradeNet really works for us and is of immense value. We use it to communicate with all of our suppliers and it enables our purchasers to spend more time on intelligent, strategic matters rather than clerical work. TradeNet’s Supplier Enablement Service ensures that our suppliers receive correspondence in whatever format they prefer. They can integrate with TradeNet, trade through ShipServ’s WebSupplier or send and receive faxes but we only send and receive electronic messages. So, we are happy and our suppliers are happy’
Another shipowner to have integrated with TradeNet is Höegh Fleet Services AS, which uses ShipNet procurement software. Höegh VP of Purchasing, Kristin Haugen, says:
‘We are now purchasing for 14 ships over ShipServ’s TradeNet and this really makes life easy for us – integration was straightforward, we can communicate easily with all of our suppliers, and are looking forward to getting the rest of the fleet on the new system.’
Other owners are customers: Tschudi & Eitzen International A/S has completed integration, while both the Denholm Shipmanagement fleet and Thor Chartering’s 25 vessels are using WebBuyer – ShipServ’s web based procurement application connected to TradeNet.
ShipServ is equally focused on the shipping industry’s suppliers. Overall there are more than 100 suppliers in the ShipServ network. Among others, Hempel, Fyns Kran Udstyr, MAN B&W, Ove Wrist, and Wärtsilä are integrating their systems with TradeNet. ShipServ has targeted owners who share many of the same suppliers, ensuring that a useful network for both buyers and sellers is established quickly, avoiding the “wait-and-see” approach holding many back from procuring online.
Other factors holding some shipmanagers and suppliers back are perceptions that e-business has yet to shake down and that getting involved now could lead to repeating the work later. Paul Østergaard, ShipServ’s CEO, says that these concerns should not hold them back, however –
‘ShipServ has since the beginning acknowledged that our customers, ship-owners and their suppliers, cannot “bet the farm” on a new purchasing platform. ShipServ’s applications and the ShipServ TradeNet are completely based on an open standard – MTML – which means that users will have complete freedom to work with other maritime application providers in the future. We obviously believe that our technology, customer service and the success of ShipServ’s TradeNet will keep customers there, but the choice has to be theirs.’
MTML, the XML-based message format for the shipping industry, was originally developed by ShipServ and IMPA, The International Marine Purchasing Association. Adoption by the industry was encouraged by ShipServ. To encourage openness, development of the standard has now been handed over to the newly formed Maritime E-Commerce Association (MECA). MTMLink – middleware software developed by ShipServ – is a vital part of the integration process. It enables shipowners and suppliers’ existing systems to be connected to TradeNet in a one-off integration step.
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