Its product then: “Optimise, formerly known as SimBunker, claims to enable owners and operators to reduce bunker consumption by determining the optimal speed of each vessel using multiple data points such as market rates, bunker prices, weather and individual vessel performance.”
The goal was to reduce emissions and costs of maritime transport. At the time it had 6 customers and 300 vessels using the product.
Now new funding has been received, and more backers have joined in investing.
This type of firm is just reaching the point when software support is starting to impose a burden on the firm. Most software startups can defer for a while the problem of support, but when the customer base grows enough, the whole cycle of customer support and updates and patches mushrooms exponentially. This places great financial demands on the firm. And it’s not profit-generating. The company benefit is only reputation, which takes a long time to repay the investment. But if reputation is tarnished by poor or unresponsive service, the company may be dealt a blow it cannot recover from, losing customers and revenues. It’s a critical time in a software startup’s lifetime.
The support conundrum is the principal reason for the failure of software startups and generally occurs later in the business arc than support for hardware-oriented products.
The port claims they are seeing a rush of container deliveries; perhaps it’s a presage of Brexit starting January 1, or simply a rush of winter orders. But this was entirely foreseeable. I guess their eye wasn’t on the ball for this crisis.
Imposing the ban was clearly a mistake, and a shock. It only took a couple of days for port management to realize they had screwed up the supply chains of everyone using the port.
It’s typical of IT projects to ber late or never get finished. Here we seem to have an example that is severely impacting everyone else in the supply chain.
Here at Felixstowe, you can’t return empty containers. You have to return them inland, at considerable extra cost and expense. It’s England, so the truckers are companies, and they can pass their costs along.
If this were the US, the individual owner-operators would have to take the expense, because they get a piece rate for a trip, regardless of where they have to return the container. they would have no way to pass on the cost. We see similar debacles occasionally at US ports.