MARITIME E-PROCUREMENT PORTALS MERGE
ShipServ and iShipExchange, two maritime electronic procurement portals for ship managers founded at the height of the e-commerce wave, have announced their merger.
The portals, which aim to facilitate the procurement of ship supplies, stores and spare parts for ship managers, expect to combine their regional strengths to form a more profitable global e-commerce company.
ShipServ, based in London, was founded in 1999. iShip started trading in 2000, and is headquartered in Hong Kong.
A spokesman for ShipServ said that ShipServ and iShip have not been profitable until now, but the combined firm expects to break even this year.
The merged company will trade under the name ShipServ and its chief executive officer will be Paul 'stergaard, of ShipServ. Linda Ho McAfee, formerly CEO of iShip, will be managing director, Asia. Don Staffin will be appointed managing director, Americas.
“I am confident that 2003 will be the year of maritime e-commerce,” 'stergaard said.
As a first step, some technical changes will be made to allow customers from either company to have access to the other company’s suppliers and buyers; the e-commerce companies said.
Thomas Miller, the U.K.-based insurance and legal group, is a major shareholder in ShipServ.