Bulkio is a highly automated matching platform on which carriers place their available bulk equipment and shippers their available shipments. ''If you want to work as automated as Bulkio, you need to have the largest and most comprehensive database of bulk carriers as possible'', says Van den Elsen. ''You also need to know exactly what they have to offer in terms of people, equipment, compatible products and to which countries they drive. In that way we can give carriers personalized job suggestions.'' Martijn Morren, managing director of Nillezen BV, agrees: ''For example, we would have nothing to gain from offers between Albania and Greece, because we never go there.'' According to Morren, the advantage of Bulkio is that Nillezen can enter it's conditions. ''We can make geographical selections and search for a specific type of product. This way we don't get 100 random, available shipments but three or four that actually fit our needs''.
The beauty of this system, according to both gentlemen, is that shippers and carriers only enter into an agreement with Bulkio. Van den Elsen: "As a carrier, you accept a shipment and carry it out. If after unloading, the delivery is reported back with a signed bill of loading and a cleaning certificate, then Bulkio pays directly and automatically. Thus the carriers do not have dealings with any other parties than Bulkio. That makes the process much simpler. The same goes for shippers, as they too only deal with Bulkio. The conditions and agreements, such as the number of waiting hours paid, rates, etc., are uniform and known in advance. Bulkio is fully transparent, so that companies can make a balanced decision whether or not to use it. Morren is pleased, ''Bulkio is a clear, digitalized system and requires little work. It's ideal that we do not have to send an invoice. So far, we have only used Bulkio for empty miles. In the future we will definitely also use Bulkio for shipments that we generally outsource to third parties. Van den Elsen: ''In this manner the supply of shipments on Bulkio will continue to grow.''
Van den Elsen can imagine that companies are a little wary of using a platform. ''It is a question of trust and trust is built along the way. Once carriers and shippers see that we handle their information well and that they can only benefit from it, trust will automatically follow. ''This trust in the market will also lead to the further acceptance of a platform such as Bulkio, Morren expects, ''and that is what we need. Both Bulkio and it's users, in order to benefit optimally from the advantages that a platform like this offers. I have every confidence.''
Source: Transport & Logistiek magazine July
Author: Annelies van Stijn