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World's first maritime eCommerce platform launched.

Marine Online, a third party platform servicing the maritime industry globally, has launched the world's first integrated maritime eCommerce platform -

The platform has been designed for the highly specialized and fragmented shipping industry in mind. Currently, more than 10,000 product listings and 4,000 service providers have already started using the platform to provide over 10 essential marine services including chartering, bunkering, port agency, ship supply, crewing, ship S&P.

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.

"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."

Understanding that the marine industry is highly specialized and a typical eCommerce marketplace model will not succeed; Marine Online specially designed two revolutionary features that cater to the buyer's preference when trading on the platform.

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 "Request for Quotation" ("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.

Award-winning M-DAQ support to reduce transaction and forex risk

Marine Online has partnered with an award-winning fintech company, M-DAQ Pte Ltd (M-DAQ), in developing the online payment system, which is funded by Alibaba's VC arm, Ant Financial Services Group and licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), adding an additional layer of assurance to its customers when transacting on

Furthermore, M-DAQ helps Marine Online's customers save on foreign exchange costs when transacting globally as the FX rates are guaranteed and more attractive as compared to the open market. The guarantee payment is similar to Alipay and provides an escrow service, operating as a stand-alone payment portal, protecting the interests of both buyer and seller.

"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.

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.

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 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."

Marine Online is also available on Apple and Android devices. -- TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 6, 2019
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