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Startup Profile 2020: Wave

Israeli-based application start-up Wave is making its mission to turn ship operators and buyers that operate with the maritime community paperless, as digitalisation of documents will aid better business, writes Samantha Fisk.

The way of doing business is changing and it is expected that in the future Blockchain will be the main way that business will be done. The shipping industry has picked up on this and with the latest addition of the coronavirus outbreak is now taking further steps in advancing it digital technologies.

With these latest technologies has also seen many start-up businesses enter the market with solutions that offer the shipping industry technologies that will help get the efficiencies that operators will need, not just for business but also to help meet with environmental regulations coming into play.

Gadi Ruschin, Co-founder and CEO, Wave explains that in the future: “Technology is to be dominant in the supply chain.” However, the main challenge for start-ups entering the market is being able to get recognised as the Ruschin highlights that getting business’ to cooperate with new ideas is a challenge.

The coronavirus has expediated the uptake of technology for companies such as wave with Ruschin noting that onboarding of customers may have taken days or weeks, now today the company is that happen in hours and minutes, as the industry clambers to install solutions that will allow it to still operate.

Ruschin also notes that one factor that the pandemic has brought about is that it has eliminated physical barriers, such as travel for doing business and has created quicker digital ways such as webinars for doing business, which is saving time and costs for companies.

The Wave solution is to create a network allowing the digitalisation of all paperwork to do with paperwork trail of moving goods around the world through its application. In shipping’s case this would be for bills of laden to move to electronic bill of laden (eBL).

The advantages that digitalised bills of laden will have for carriers is that it will be 100% in their control which is extremely important to maritime, Ruschin notes. Currently, the standard way of creating bills of laden can see delays of up to a week for some, when a ship has already arrived in port, but the paperwork hasn’t.

The DCSA, the association for technology standards and frameworks for digital container ships, has also highlighted that the industry could see potential cost saving of US$4 billion per year at a 50% adoption rate for the container industry.

Another by-product of the digitalised bill of laden will be further clarity of good being shipped around the world. Ruschin comments that it reduces the risk for the carrier, adding that: “Instead of documents being delivered to the front desk they go straight to the back office.”

Today even with the developments that have happened Ruschin notes that there is still a ‘chicken and egg’ situation in the market with taking on new technologies, “it’s suspicions, no one likes change”, operators also need to look at the strategic value of adopting technology.

“The B2B world is not there, as privately [people] you do not have to touch paper if you do not want to. The B2B world needs to catch up with the B2C world. This is why we are starting with trade and aim for the 100% paperless office”, he adds.

As Wave utilises an application for its solution it aims to build its business on what it calls that ‘network’ effect. As its network grows then it will make the solution cheaper. Going forward Ruschin notes that for this to work there needs to be more collaboration in the maritime industry.

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