The online platform, named Brightoil Bunker Online, has gathered pace since its phase one launch back in January 2016 as an information portal. In October last year, Brightoil Bunker Online launched its phase two by adding risk management tools with real-time updates on FFP, as well as providing information on bunker prices, market updates and Bunker Delivery Notes (BDNs).
“For phase three launch today, the platform has offered users the option to view FFP online for up to nine months, and customers can also buy physical fuels online from worldwide ports. The platform is an invitation to shipowners and suppliers to bid and fix enquiries for bunker fuels,” said Stephen Qi Jun, ceo of Brightoil Bunker Online and coo of Brightoil Petroleum (Singapore).
“The platform is open to all. A buyer can send an enquiry with information on the port and fuel volume, and suppliers will come in to put up their offers, and the processes will be followed through via the platform up until the discharging of the bunker fuel,” Qi told Seatrade Maritime News.
It is hoped that the bunker e-commerce platform, still a relatively new operational model of buying and selling physical products, will significantly enhance the global trading of bunkers with greater transparency and faster processing of enquiries, Qi said.
Qi qualified that it will still take time for the online buy/sell concept to be widely adopted by the maritime companies which is a traditional industry. “We have seen the global B2B business develop very fast over the past few years and now is the right time for us to invite and engage the market onto B2B business as technology improves. People are also starting change their working style with the advent of B2B e-commerce platform,” Qi explained.
Kelvin Low, e-commerce director of Brightoil Petroleum (Singapore), noted that a lot of bunker enquiries can take up to three days to get fixed, as opposed to the use of an online platform which offers realtime bidding processes to significantly save time.
“We want to create efficiency and transparency for the market. The platform enables users to come in on a real-time basis and they can even send enquiries on mobile apps,” Low said.
Qi added that Brightoil Bunker Online also features support functions such as dispute settlement and due diligence processes, internally secured communications and insurance.