Wilhelmsen in e-commerce move

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Wilhelmsen Ships Service has taken its latest step in the process of refining its e-commerce solution in order to provide further cost efficiencies to the market and speed up the adoption of e-commerce.

The company has moved its e-commerce service to ErgoGroup. ErgoGroup is a major operator in the e-commerce industry and will provide significant advantages to customers and the market in general.

ErgoGroup is a $1bn turnover company with over 8,500 integrated customers on the e-commerce platform. Customers can enjoy the benefits of unrestricted international roaming agreements and cooperation with a large number of international B2B networks.

David Tandy, President of Wilhelmsen Ships Service, said: “We saw that our industry needed a generic e-commerce service, where e-commerce is handled professionally as the commercial tool that it is. We need a service provider, with large volumes, which also has the ability to handle the relatively small number of shipping specific services that exist.”

The contract with ErgoGroup follows Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s re-positioning of its e-commerce service last year by taking complete control of its wholly owned e-commerce subsidiary, MTS. Once achieved, Wilhelmsen Ships Service prepared its e-commerce solution to be moved to a leader in the e-commerce industry.

Wilhelmsen Ships Service has for the last 10 years developed and set the direction for e-commerce services which benefit ship owners and suppliers, a service whose usage they want to increase. The transfer to a professional e-commerce entity enables Wilhelmsen Ships Service to focus on its core business, that of providing products and services to its customers, while still being able to stay close to customers operating on e-commerce

David Tandy added: “High volume will automatically drive the cost of usage down and at the same time increase the efficiency and functionality. We are happy to present such a solution to the market and we are looking forward to the future development of e-commerce in the shipping market.

“For us e-commerce is part of our company’s larger offer to our customers, not a stand alone product,” he said. “We want to extend the number of customers using e-commerce, as we see this as an efficiency tool which will give operational savings and flexibility in the way we deal with our customers. It will be an advantage to Wilhelmsen Ships Service but also one which we can pass on to our customers.”

Siri Jacobsen, Vice President International Customer Services at Wilhelmsen Ships Service, stressed: “We recognise the importance of e-commerce and this path of continuous improvement has finally allowed us to arrive at a solution for all buyers and suppliers which is considerably more cost efficient than any alternative in the market today. It is important to offer a service that customers find easy to use, and one which is tailor made for the shipping industry. As we move ever closer to a perfect solution we expect more shipping customers to trade electronically. By using ErgoGroup we can also gain advantage from faster and cheaper development and implementations.”

She alluded to the general slow development of e-Commerce within shipping in recent years. Only some 150-200 ship owners have moved to trading electronically within the last 10 years. Most suppliers continue to face double the workload through using the more conventional web portal. With the introduction of a professional partner with all the efficient tools we believe that we will see a large increase in number of integrated entities.