Start-up Spot Ship, which aims to reduce C02 emissions in shipping by optimising ballast voyages, recently launched version 2.0 of its platform and brought in new investors from within the industry.

Speaking with Seatrade Maritime News recently, Spot Ship co-CEOs Henry Waterfield, and James Kellett, explained about why they have upgraded the platform and progress of taking it from a trial concept to a system being used by a growing number of paid customers. Kellet said that over the last nine months the company had grown from six to 20 people, and now had a “meaningful and growing paying client base”.

Spot Ship is designed as a tool to make ship brokers jobs easier, a point Waterfield, who previously worked as a broker, is keen to stress. As such the first version of Spot Ship very much with functionality in mind, a “classic look” if you will. As more users have come onboard this has proved to have its limitations so the company has launched a new version of the platform.

“This new version, which is much more modern, it’s still built around what a shipbroker needs, but it is a lot more intuitive,” Kellett explained.

New functionality includes being able to choose only which vessels the user wants to see on the map and the ability to rank vessels in terms of C02 emissions as well as ballast days.

“It gets you to a good ship that is capable of working that cargo within a few seconds, rather than going through your spreadsheets and doing some calculations for what laycans different ships are going to make,” Kellett said.

Waterfield also says the new version is more mobile friendly aimed at the broker who may well be doing business over lunch as well as in the office.

Spot Ship has developed a CO2 calculator or modelling tool under a grant it received from the UK government. Initially this was going to be designed for 50 ships, however, using a cognitive neural networks model the company has been able to cover almost the entire global fleet.

“It takes account of the ship’s unique characteristics, and also, if it’s currently open, where it is, and the ballast, it would have to take on in order to reach the load,” Kellett explains. The system then gives a number of in terms of CO2 emissions for every ship that a broker has positions for an provides a ranking.

“We’ve talked to a couple of brokers that they’re saying this is actually make or break for the world’s biggest charterers, it’s about being able to steer them into the more efficient ships, and also give them a steer as to the different impacts of different ships.”

Spot Ship’s continued growth obviously requires funding and its most recent investment round saw its investor base expanding with new funding from individuals in the shipping industry. “We’ve had in this latest investment round, the Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Financial Officer from a fairly hefty listed-shipowning company, who are very excited for where this is going to go,” Kellett said.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News