Maritime services marketplace launches

A Dutch start-up called Unafix launches today, aiming to simplify the process of finding, comparing and appointing service providers specialised in shipping.

“We felt that there are massive efficiency benefits to be gained in the procurement process of maritime service providers such as agents, surveyors and lawyers,” said Jeroen Wolthuis, the founder of Unafix. “The transition to platform-based procurement in other industries has resulted in substantial efficiency improvements. With Unafix, we’ve tailored this concept to the maritime services industry.”

Unafix’s launch line-up consists of three types of service providers, namely shipping agents, surveyors and lawyers. Users will be able to connect with, and request a quote from as many service providers as they want, increasing the overall efficiency of the procurement process and its outcome.

Speaking with Splash, Wolthuis said: “What makes our business stand out is that we’ve adopted a “user-driven” approach, which means that our users will have a direct say in which development aspects we prioritise.”

Holwerda Shipmanagement, a Dutch shipmanager with a fleet of 10 container vessels, has been actively involved in the development process.

A spokesperson for the shipmanagement company commented: “We’re seeing a lot of potential in digital solutions like Unafix. The way they’ve processed our feedback is an example of their user-driven mentality. Due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, we’re seeing a reduction in time charter duration. Consequently, we’re having more on/off-hire surveys performed than usual. With Unafix, we quickly obtained an overview of reputable surveyors available and with a few clicks we sent the request for quotation to several providers, without the usual hassle of preparing emails and searching for contact details.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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