How DP World's SeaRates is digitising trade on sea, land and air

How DP World's SeaRates is digitising trade on sea, land and air

We are reimagining the way we do business to enable smarter trade across the globe. In our industry, this means harnessing technology to make physical infrastructure faster and more efficient, delivering a better service and enhancing transparency.

As part of our digital transformation strategy, we have embarked on a strategic journey of creating, acquiring, and upgrading a wide range of digital solutions that accelerate growth and meet the demands of our customers. SeaRates is just one of these innovative solutions which we have identified to drive industry-wide improvement. In this article, we share with you in a bit more detail what SeaRates is, how it operates and the factors behind its success. 

What is SeaRates?

SeaRates is an online spot rate marketplace where cargo owners, freight forwarders, or consumers looking to transport goods can find competitive rates. From its humble beginnings as part of our digital products in 2005, SeaRates set out to create a robust digital platform to contribute to the smarter trade movement. 

How does SeaRates digitise trade on sea, land, and air? 

SeaRates’ vision is to digitise the business. It was designed to provide cargo owners and consumers looking to transport goods with the best rates. It also offers quality industry tools such as Logistics Explorer, Container Tracking, Load Calculator, Ship Schedules, Distances and Time, Smart Documents, and Route Planner.

What reasons are behind SeaRates’ success?

Our brand no doubt contributed to SeaRates’ success, adding a layer of credibility and a support system built to scale. But the success of SeaRates can also be attributed to existing in the right place, at the right time. 

A few key factors which were brought about during the COVID-19 pandemic need to be taken into consideration when analysing SeaRates’ success. The crisis brought the digital movement to the forefront, as face-to-face interactions became limited, and businesses shifted to online working models. This naturally saw many traditional cargo owners seek - and turn to – online alternatives such as SeaRates to operate and get trade flowing. 

In addition, COVID-19 accelerated an e-commerce boom. As lockdowns became the new normal, businesses and consumers increasingly “went digital”, providing and purchasing more goods and services online. The good news is, this boom isn’t expected to be short lived. Indeed, a report from ING predicts that freight rates “will continue to reach new highs this year, and will remain above their pre-pandemic levels in the longer term”. 

Another contributing factor to SeaRates success is that premium cargo owners and freight forwarders with access to contracts/fixed rates are finding competitive offers in spot marketplaces – this has allowed our product to reach a new type of customer.

What is SeaRates’ trajectory?

We recently shared news about SeaRates’ trajectory since its beginnings with us, which saw a stunning growth of approximately 1500% on weekly revenue performance compared to February 2020.

This year, SeaRates has budgeted for organic marketing, performance marketing, and commercial team growth that scale side by side. Though our market share is currently unknown against key competitors such as Freightos, Shipafreight, Flexport, and iContainers, we are confident that our trajectory to date is an indication that SeaRates is becoming a key rate marketplace provider.

SeaRates is just one part of our digital change strategy puzzle. It is something to be proud of and will fundamentally change the way we do business at every step of the customer journey.