During Geneva Dry 2024 I attended a panel discussion about the future of freight fixing. It was fantastic to engage in such a spirited discussion about shipbroking’s future and technology’s transformative role in our industry. It became a lively debate especially around the future role for the shipbroker – here are some of my key points on the topic!

Tech is Here to Help

Upgrading and improving the tech stack across shipping is an important factor for the ongoing evolution of our industry. As the leading provider of commercial software for global maritime trade, Sea is providing the industry a platform to connect and collaborate.

Through streamlined workflows and access to advanced data and intelligence across freight planning, negotiation and transactions users can enhance their operational efficiency and thereby free up valuable broker time for more strategic tasks such as deal-structuring, terms negotiation, risk assessment and leveraging comprehensive intelligence and data to stay ahead of the market.

The Inimitable Impact of Brokers

It is my strong belief that the human element in freight fixing remains irreplaceable. Building trust, navigating complex negotiations, and fostering strong relationships are all areas where the human expertise of especially the broker shines. New tech and our platform aren’t here to replace brokers but to augment the entire experience, equipping shipping brokers with the best tools and data available, and boosting the ability to serve their clients efficiently.

Connected, Consolidated Collaboration

And the brokers continue to be an important part of the ecosystem of users trading on the Sea platform. Acting as the intermediate between charterers and owners/operators, brokers are equally benefiting from consolidated and digitalised workflows and access to relevant maritime intelligence and data captured from previous trades and contracts.

Connecting and collaborating with peers – both clients, colleagues and counterparties – in a single platform ensuring all planning, negotiation, trading and contract management are handled and traceable in one place instead of across multiple communication channels and tools improves governance and compliance for all parties, while reducing risk and lost revenue.

Data-driven decision-making

Additionally, easy and timely access to market insights, vessel intelligence and historical organisational data is imperative for making commercially and environmentally viable decisions across the entire pre-fixture workflow and as a broker you can fix with confidence on behalf of your clients.

Through capture of your data and decisions as part of your fixture process you will enable a data-flywheel which will build organisational learning and help informing future decisions for freight fixing and contracts.

Charting a Multi-layered Future of Freight Fixing, with Tech Leading the Way

The future of freight fixing lies in the collaborative model of human expertise enhanced by powerful technology and data. Platforms like Sea are not here to disintermediate brokers or replace any other human being but to expand productivity and provide effective and valuable options for clients. By integrating technology with traditional shipbroking, we can propel our industry forward to drive more sustainable and profitable decisions and achieve greater efficiency, transparency, and client satisfaction.

Chris Svärd

Chief Commercial Officer, Sea

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