Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Weathernews Inc. have joined forces to create a new digital marketplace for the maritime industry, called maruFreight.
maruFreight operations will benefit from the financial support and expertise of Mitsui, one of the largest trading and investment companies in the world, and Weathernews, the largest weather routing company in the world.
Based in Stamford, Connecticut, maruFreight will provide ship and cargo owners with an efficient, cost-effective platform for matching cargoes with suitable ships. With core functionalities based on an open marketplace, the first release of maruFreight will be launched in June 2018.
Going forward, the platform will scale to extend its scope to the entire Supply Chain Management, driven by Weathernews’ expertise in transportation services.
maruFreight will also provide both transporters and cargo owners with a powerful suite of Voyage Planning tools, and a document management system to guarantee the best possible decision-making process to a high level of efficiency.
Through the new platform, cargo owners will be able to list their cargoes, whilst ship owners will be able to use sophisticated filtering and searching capabilities to bid for cargoes and take care of the transportation. This will open the commodity market to a wider audience, with positive benefits for all players.
To achieve this, maruFreight will deploy a fully open IT architecture for the online exchange that provides a new transparency and simplification of the chartering process, resulting in market-based pricing for both parties and reduced ballast legs for the ship owners.
Antonio Brizzo, a long-time Executive at Weathernews, in both Europe and the Americas, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of maruFreight. As part of the initial management team, he will be joined by Kazuyuki Shimozono from Mitsui, as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the digital marketplace, and from Weathernews America, Michael Greavette as Chief Revenue Officer.
“maruFreight is the next exciting chapter to dive into, and we are thrilled to be developing this new venture with Mitsui, who have been fantastic collaborators from the start,” said Brizzo.
“By combining the best-in-class expertise of Mitsui with the broad reach of Weathernews in the maritime and transportation industry, we have the unique ability to take the shipping industry to the next level, creating a compelling user experience,” said Shimozono.
"‘We have access to over 30 years of valuable data gathered from nearly 70% of the global shipping market,” said Greavette. “Now more than ever is the right time to create a digital marketplace where the most relevant data can be mapped for both shipowner and charterer alike.”
The highly secure cloud-based platform will allow each cargo to be constantly monitored and the performance of the ships always assessed.