Marine Online introduced Global Shipowner Alliance program
Singapore based maritime eCommerce B2B platform, Marine Online (www.marineonline.com) had introduced the Global Shipowner Alliance (GSA) program that aims to help small and medium-sized shipowners to improve bottom-line by volume consolidation. Being the operating platform of GSA, Marine Online consolidates purchase demands from GSA members and distribute to the few handpicked “Authorized Service Providers” (ASP) in each port to lower acquisition cost which the savings in-return benefits the GSA members directly. Since the introduction of the GSA program from the mid of 2019, Marine Online has been servicing the first group of 20 GSA members for about 6 months. Benefits have been evident with an average savings of 10% on ship procurements transacted. During the interview with Mr Tiger Cai, COO of Marine Online shares that “GSA is a win-win proposition for both shipowners and service providers. Unlike shipowners of a bigger scale, shipowners with lesser ships experience lower negotiating power hence leading to higher acquisition cost or less favourable commercial terms. On the other hand, suppliers avoid smaller deals than poses higher risks, which led to higher pricing or even payment in advance. With GSA, Marine Online combines all the small deals and bridges the gap”. Services included in the GSA program include ship supplies, bunkering, port agency, and crewing/manning. The appointed service providers are curated, ensuring high-quality products, reliability with positive market reputation. In assuring quality service, Marine Online appoints a maximum of 3 localized service providers in each port, guided by a set of standardized service agreement and operation processes. Also, GSA will regularly evaluate the service provider performance and take necessary action when quality or standard unmet. When discussed the criteria and how service providers are appointed, Mr Yang Ling, CEO of Marine Online shares that “The current supplier network for GSA comprise over 1,000 service providers, covering over 100 common ports. There are over a hundred applications that are in the midst of review. The review process is time-consuming due to the requirement to verify the service level and market reputation. We need to make sure our appointed service provider is aligned with the GSA program so to deliver the best offer and services to our valuable GSA members.” To speed up the transactions, GSA provides a centralized credit facility between GSA Members and service providers. This credit facility ensures shipowners in receiving the best service, while the service providers are guaranteed in receiving payment after fulfilling the orders. GSA Members no longer need to apply credit term from service providers individually which in return, save more time by removing the usual administrative work. Other benefits being a GSA member includes 0% chartering commission, complimentary global AIS system account, attractive foreign currency exchange rate and other several perks introduced by the alliance.