Among the many things altered by the COVID-19 pandemic is the way ships purchase their supplies, a practice that’s now carried out primarily through eCommerce channels.
Into this mix comes Marine Online, an open eCommerce B2B marketplace with a digitized supply procuring service, an open platform designed for both shipowners and suppliers.
Marine Online is available in both desktop and app versions, and bills itself as a “client-centric platform providing maritime professionals with a wide range of services” for both buyers and sellers around the world, per a Tuesday (Aug. 31) news release.
The Singapore company’s suppliers are all authorized service providers (ASP) who go through a strict evaluation. Members of the firm’s Global Shipowners Alliance (GSA) receive guarantees of quality products/service through local providers.
“[The] maritime industry is rapidly digitizing, so is ship supply procurement,” said Tiger Cai, Marine Online’s chief operating officer. “Our initiative enables both shipowners and service providers to transact with confidence and efficiency. That is the reason behind our strict evaluation processes to qualify parties’ acceptance into our GSA or ASP network.”
Cai said the company’s network reaches 700 ports worldwide and includes more than 10,000 suppliers. Marine Online also offers Marine Credits, which allow for immediate payment for procured goods or services.
This is happening at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly the delta variant of the virus — continues to affect global supply chains.
As we reported earlier this month, many of the ports and factories hit hardest by the delta are in places that had done a good job battling the initial COVID surge. These places are the source of goods — such as electronics — that are purchased by countries such as the U.S.
“Delta is likely to significantly disrupt trade in Asia,” said Deborah Elms, executive director of Asia Trade Centre in Singapore, in an interview with Bloomberg. “Most of the markets have been fortunate in managing COVID well so far. But as COVID continues to spread, this lucky streak is likely to end for many locations.”