Ukraine-based entrepreneur launches global digital marketplace for shipping

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An entrepreneur behind Odessa-based shipping company Varamar Group has laid a claim to digital revolution in shipping by launching ShipNEXT – a first independent online platform for global freight market.

Recognising that current time and cost inefficiencies hamper the industry’s global recovery and further development, Alexander Varvarenko has created a digital solution that is said to not only save time and money for its users, but marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of shipping.

ShipNEXT is endorsed by BIMCO (Baltic and International Maritime Council) who recognise the significance of the project for the industry, and is currently engaging with the world’s largest commodities traders about potential cooperation. Dragon Capital, one of the largest eastern European investment banks, is participating in the project.

In its first phase launched yesterday (Monday), ShipNEXT’s sophisticated software will ‘read’ an emailed cargo request or ship position and automatically match cargos with ships using over 70 various databases and complex algorithms. It will minimise human error and increase efficiency by automating multiple routine checks and calculations relating to ship and port data, distances, restrictions, risk zones and rules of carriage by sea, among many others.

In the next phases, to be gradually rolled out over the next 18 months, ShipNEXT will integrate various aspects and sectors of the market. It is designed to be a one-stop online platform for fixing all types of cargo, tendering and negotiations, contract management, reporting, post fixing and operations, and even ratings of its users. ShipNEXT will also facilitate the increased transparency in ship finance by providing banks with real-time charter rates, statistics and analysis.

“ShipNEXT was born of the desire to change the outdated shipping practices and make life easier for traders, ship owners and other market participants. In it we have combined Artificial Intelligence and latest digital technology with our 17-year industry experience in shipping dry-bulk, steels and heavy and oversized cargo, and it took us over one and a half years to develop,” said Alexander Varvarenko, Founder and CEO of ShipNEXT.