Mizzen, a global online marketplace for freight forwarders to book spot containerised space, is gearing to roll out more solutions. The head of the platform tells Maritime CEO today that digitisation is likely to spur even greater consolidation within the container space.
At the end of August, Mizzen launched live container pricing on its website Mizzenit.com. The world-first launch of instant rates includes some of the largest global shipping lines, which represent more than 25% of total global container shipping capacity.
According to Alan Taylor, chairman and co-founder of the platform, Mizzen was conceived as a marketplace to benefit both the shipping lines and freight forwarders by streamlining the process of booking containers in a digital setting as opposed to emails and phone calls.
“In essence, we are really focused on implementing the use of digital to build data that provides freight forwarders and traders better tools to help service their needs and their customers’ needs, and allows shipping lines to introduce new products down to the individual vessel voyage,” Taylor says, adding that the company will continue to work closely with the larger, more innovative shipping lines to produce new products that focus on delivering better service around the key sticking points of price, space and equipment. These products, Taylor claims, will be mutually beneficial for freight forwarders and shipping lines alike, looking to overcome some of the issues that are in the price and booking processes.
Taylor has seen a dramatic change in the way maritime is viewing digitisation over the past few years.
“Three years ago there was some resistance by the shipping lines towards digitisation and the first move seemed to be in digital freight forwarding which seemed to result in an unbalanced marketplace using manual processes,” says Taylor. Now he has found that the industry has become more open to the concept.
“Digitisation is seen as something new for the shipping industry, and this has brought some fear within the industry of adopting digitisation. But the reality is that other industries adopted digitisation over 20 years ago and have flourished because of it,” he maintains.
Taylor reckons the main challenge is the level of inertia in an industry that has feared change. The slow rate of implementation of digitisation will lead to continued inefficiencies and costs that dimming profitability.
“The shipping lines that fail to work in a digital environment will also not be able to compete with those with functioning digital strategies, and we believe that this will result in further consolidation and digital collaboration within the industry,” Taylor warns.
Mizzen’s medium term goal is to leverage the digital marketplace with products that are industry driven and deliver a solution.
“We will continue to test and implement digital strategies, blending the best of our industry past experience with digital practices that have been successful in other industries. Our shipping line industry and digital founders will differentiate us from freight forwarding consolidation models of digitisation. Our focus will be to bring digital strategies to shipping lines and freight forwarders to make current business practices better,” Taylor concludes.