OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Tina Olivero

    Moscord: Amazon of the seas is an online marketplace for ship supplies

    Moscord has brought the digital retail revolution to shipping with the first global online marketplace for ship supplies but says much of the conservative industry has still to realise significant potential cost savings by switching from traditional procurement processes five years after its launch. 

    Dubbed the ‘Amazon of the Seas’, the Singapore-based company now has some 500 vessels onboard its unique platform to source everything from stores and technical consumables to spare parts such as valves, filters and electro components.

    The independent platform enables crew members to order online from a single e-marketplace directly from ship chandlers, manufacturers and wholesalers and have their orders delivered 24/7 to a port hub or ship anywhere in the world through Moscord’s logistics arm.

    The company estimates that users have cut their overall procurement costs by as much as 50% as most orders are placed directly from vessels based on contracted items.

    Such a cost reduction can amount to savings of around $100,000 a year on just a single vessel, given that consumables amount to between 10-15% of a ship’s annual spending of about $800,000, according to Moscord chief executive Freddy Ingemann. 

    With a global commercial fleet of more than 60,000 vessels, he believes there is “massive cost-savings potential” for shipowners through using the Moscord marketplace that marks its fifth anniversary this year.

    Overcoming obstacles

    Freddy Ingemann Commented, “It has been a fantastic journey where all the obstacles from the early days have been overcome and turned Moscord into a well-known and well-proven concept.”

    The free-to-use e-commerce system provides full transparency for buyers with price comparisons among different sellers, saves time and ensures order accuracy as well as increasing speed of delivery, resulting in a 50% faster procurement cycle.

    “The lean and direct procurement process results in a better price-quality ratio and much better control of what products the crew receives onboard,” Ingemann explains.

    But he points out that global shipping’s procurement systems are still based on outmoded ‘requests for quotations’ from intermediaries acting on behalf of suppliers, which increases the price for the consumer, cuts margins for suppliers and greatly slows the purchasing process. 

    Ingemann adds, “The ship supply industry has historically featured numerous middlemen and complex intermediary stages. This has resulted in a convoluted and inefficient procurement process that wastes time, money and resources. “This traditional, sub-optimized approach has entailed missed deliveries, incorrect product delivery, poor quality control and a lack of pricing transparency.”
    Freddy Ingemann, Moscord chief executive

    Global market

    Moscord has built up a master database of about 200,000 pre-priced products and developed a logistics system that can deliver supplies to more than 1000 ports worldwide through a tie-up with ship agency firm GAC, or directly to vessels.

    The neutral e-marketplace is seller independent, meaning any supplier can join the platform and easily create its own webshop, with some of the largest importers of ship supplies – including RS Components and Unilever – among major vendors using the service that gives them access to a global market.

    Major ship chandlers minded to turn their business into a digitalized process are also increasingly adopting the Moscord platform.

    It enables the supplier to sell directly to the end-user – such as a ship owner or manager – in a cost-effective and scalable way without having to navigate complex bidding and procurement processes, giving a higher margin while being able to sell at lower unit prices.

    New features

    The buyer gains instant access to a wide range of products and ordering at the touch of a button, eliminating a time-consuming and costly procurement exercise.

    Ingemann says officers onboard have for the first time the ability to see and get what they order, rather than sourcing supplies on the basis of poor data quality.

    This has resulted in very high delivery consistency of over 99% from ordering based on the supplier’s own product description, with a low delivery failure rate of 0.45% compared with double digits for the overall supply industry.

    The platform can be integrated into a buyer’s existing purchasing system and makes it possible to create a customized catalogue with the most commonly required products for a specific vessel that can be managed by the buyer’s purchasing team and maintained with support from Moscord.

    The market platform is set to be further enhanced with the addition of new features such as consolidation of all product orders for a single delivery to a vessel, while invoicing, logistics tracking and forex are among services that have just been launched.

    Source(s) and Image(s): Moscord and Photographer Geoffrey Whiteway

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