By Gordon Downes, CEO of the New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX)

Focus is absolutely critical for any early stage company, and this is no different for us at NYSHEX.

Back when we launched in August 2017, people were pleased to see us address a very complex problem that our industry has grappled with for years; unreliability from booking downfalls and rollings. At the same time, we got feedback to say our technology didn’t meet the requirements of all shippers. We listened carefully, but we didn’t even try to meet all the requirements. In fact we simply couldn’t, it would have been physically impossible.

Instead, we focused in on the needs of a select group of innovative carriers and shippers. Together we collaborated to prove three foundational hypotheses:

Shippers and carriers will be more reliable when contracting through NYSHEX:

With over 20,000 TEU contracted through NYSHEX so far, 98% have shipped exactly as contracted. This is a whopping 22% improvement compared to the industry average. It also clearly demonstrates both carriers and shippers can fulfil their contractual obligations when a fair and impartial mechanism is used to clarify objectives, align incentives and track performance.

NYSHEX will work in excess demand market conditions:

On the Trans Pacific East Bound trade we experienced a “super peak” in 2018. There were months when far more cargo needed to be shipped than there was available capacity. Many shippers, including some of the world’s largest, used NYSHEX to protect their over allocated freight, and carriers were able to prioritize their NYSHEX committed bookings.

NYSHEX will work in excess supply market conditions:

In the early days, our skeptics told us NYSHEX could only work in excess demand, but not in excess supply. We’re pleased to have proven them wrong since the majority of cargo contracted through NYSHEX shipped on the Trans Pacific West Bound trade, which is a back haul and almost always in excess supply. This shows that even when shippers don’t need space commitments, they are still willing and able to make good on their contractual commitments!

Reflecting on 2018, I imagine we felt similar to the developers of the first camera phone. When the first camera phone launched in 2000, it was met with a lot of skeptics. They said the photos were too pixelated, it didn’t have a flash, etc…

Nonetheless, the developers learned from their early versions and continued to innovate and improve. Today of course camera phones are widely used and part of our everyday lives.

With the pun intended, it’s great to finish off 2018 knowing our focus was correct, and our core belief is true: NYSHEX can help make shipping be more reliable!

We’re excited to continue innovating and we look forward to rolling out new products and features in 2019 that will make NYSHEX far more relevant to many more shippers!