Shipping is paying to hand over its own data

Shipping participants have been warned they are actually being charged to relinquish their own data.

Alphabulk, part of AXSMarine, has hit out at myriad shipping platforms and their “unfriendly” terms regarding data.

The lead story in this week’s Alphabulk report, entitled ‘Why this data rush?’, takes issue with the questionable transparency among shipping’s many web-based platforms.

Taking a specific swipe at Clarksons, Alphabulk claims: “The biggest shipbroker in the world, through a specially formed subsidiary, is busy promoting its web-based fixing solution with unfriendly terms regarding data.”

Clarksons is by no means alone as Alphabulk went on to highlight.

Alphabulk carried the general terms and conditions from five different shipping platforms, all of which allow the platforms to own any data inputted by clients.

“In short,” Alphabulk explained, “the customer enters his data in the system, paying for that process through a system fee and the time spent to enter the data, only to surrender all rights on the data he just entered!”

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.


  1. Sounds like the age-old definition of a consultant ”Paying someone to tell you the time on your own watch”. Big data is a new thing and we all want to benefit and keep up with the competition but we shouldn’t be tempted to give away the crown jewels and end up paying for the privilege of learning what we all used to know intuitively.

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