A shore thing: the business benefits of digital contracts

20 April 2020

by Hans Nicolai Edbo, Director of Norwegian Shipbrokers’ Association (NSBA)

The global shipbroking market is set to be worth $177.29 billion[1] by the end of 2022, with the average price to build a new vessel costing around $18 million, the sector demands professionals who are handling these transactions, to have an exacting eye for detail. Small mistakes can prove to be extremely expensive – both financially and reputationally. This makes it essential for shipbrokers to have access to the latest technology to keep up with increasingly demanding regulations and compliance requirements.

At the Norwegian Shipbrokers’ Association (NSA), our aim has always been to provide our members with the latest information and guidance to support them in their unique day-to-day roles. Therefore, we’re delighted to partner with Maritech’s new end-to-end digital platform, Sea/ and to integrate our vitally important Norwegian SALEFORM 2012 (NSF) into its agile document management tool, Sea/contracts, for the sale and purchase of ships.

Designed as a solution for shipping professionals by shipping professionals, Sea/contracts addresses one of the key issues faced by brokers among our members and beyond – version control.

Our integration with Sea/contracts not only prevents members accessing outdated documents, but crucially preserves the integrity and authenticity of the document. The shipbroker is assured that he/she is using the correct and latest version of the form while the buyer and seller have the peace of mind that the sale is all above board.

Shipbrokers are responsible for tailoring the details of the NSF to the needs of individual transactions. This can result in extensive exchanges between themselves, the buyer and the seller of the vessel – often increasing the timeframe of the sale. The formulation of the offer must be precise, clear and fully understood on all sides. Sea/contracts ensures that changes and revisions are tracked and that a full audit trail can be provided around this intricate transaction.

Providing a faster, simpler and more collaborative approach by digitalising a previously arduous and complex task, Sea/contracts makes the NSF easier and even more user-friendly for our members and other users. Its intuitive design ensures that our community can stay compliant by flagging cautionary clauses or providing time stamps.

It’s a win-win for our members and the industry.

[1] Global Shipbroking Market 2018-2022