Smart Shipping with AI

Ocean Freight Exchange’s (OFE) flagship product, Right Bunker, scooped the top prize at last year’s PIER71 Smart Port Challenge. OFE co-founder and Chief Executive Office John Hahn tells Justin Kor how the product can benefit companies.

Tell us about OFE. What is its core product and how does it work?

OFE incorporated in Singapore in early 2016. We are the world’s leading AI marketplace for bulk shipping, using Silicon Valley’s best technology to help charters, ship owners and brokers to be super charters, super ship owners and super brokers. Our core product, the Right Bunker technology, is an AI bunker delivery scheduling tool for bunker tanker operators and ship owners.

Last year, OFE won the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge with Right Bunker. Tell us more about this experience and OFE’s winning innovation.

We leveraged many of our existing proprietary technologies to build Right Bunker, which beat 121 other companies globally to win Smart Port Challenge, and it was a great experience.

Right Bunker helps all parties involved to make more money. It increases turns for bunker tankers so they are happy, and reduces waiting time for ship owners so they are happy too. It helps Singapore’s traffic management to lower congestion and reduces environmental impact around Singapore so the world is happy too.

What is OFE’s Focus in the maritime industry?

We are focused on making our clients more money, whether it is having the best intelligence for pre-fixture chartering preparation, fixing a vessel or cargo online with one-click brokering, or making the port call as efficient as possible starting with the bunker call.

How is technology changing in the industry? And are shipping players ready for it?

Select firms already utilise many technology tools, and those firms are consistently beating their peers by all metrics. Business leaders and decision-makers will be phased out by newer and highly analytical teammates who use the best technologies. We believe that more independent technology players, without conflicts of interest, need to comre into the market, such as OFE. The customer wins by having many product choices at lower cost.

Tell us about yourself. What is your background or training? What led you to start the company?

I’m a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, was a Fulbright Scholar and served as a lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve while trading/chartering at Louis Dreyfus Commodities and Noble Group for nine years. I moved from New York to Singapore with my wife and daughter three years ago. By creating our own company, we are able to build problem-solving product quickly and love the work culture since we’re creating it.