The client approached us with the idea of creating a platform to follow vessel data for the multi-billion dollar shipping industry. Since the client needed to have this rather quickly, we opted to licence a rudimentary auction platform as a starting point instead of starting from scratch. We cleaned, and built new functionality out of the existing codebase in order to meet the client’s initial business requirements. The client was thrilled with the quality of our work. From these initial steps, the client was confident that he could partner with us to convince potential investors to expand the platform to something more ambitious. Thus began an extensive expansion of the platform through a hefty list of business requirements that we had to complete in a incredibly short timeframe. The stakes were high as the client and investors were keen on creating a top leading vessel and charterer data platform and we were committed to making this happen.
We began working on new functionalities such as a new section where vessels could be sold/rented to others worldwide as we simultaneously refactored the old codebase. As the expanded platform began to take shape the client was impressed with the quality and speed of our work and our commitment to the project. We reached the MVP deadline with ease. This was the catalyst of an even bigger and evergoing expansion. Upon completion of the MVP the client and investors wanted even more features such as an AI email parser, live vessel position list, vessel history and other business intelligence tools.
The client required us to develop an email scraper that would retrieve data from thousands of emails through installed plugins on user email account services such as gmail and outlook . The extracted dataset needed to be cleaned, standardized, categorized and normalized and be ultimately used for insights in the platform. For the purpose of organization, we made use of machine learning to train classifiers to learn how to analyze, interpret and organize the cleaned email data into custom categories. The scraper has now accurately processed vessel data from thousands of vessels.
Other business intelligence tools soon followed. We needed to come up with a way to know the shortest route for a vessel to travel between two ports. We decided to use a graph database called Neo4J to achieve this goal. Neo4j allows us a faster way to retrieve, traverse and navigate connected data than a traditional relational database with higher overall performance. This feature gives vessels the shortest route to a selected port destination around the hemisphere. Other features that we developed include voyage calculators and predictive analytics tools that give the user information on where the vessels will be at a given time. This predictive analytic tool will definitely be a game changer in the multi-billion dollar vessel chartering industry.
We have come a long way since we began the Ocean Freight Exchange (OFE) project several years ago. The OFE platform has now grown to offer a multitude of features for users in the vessel chartering industry. It has recently raised an over-subscribed US$3.3 million seed round. Some of the investors have provided funding for larger companies like Netflix among others. We at Jonajo Consulting take great pride in having assisted the client with the entire process of developing the OFE platform and turning it into what it has become today. Our team of talented Jonajo selected designers and developers have dutifully worked to establish the Ocean Freight Exchange platform as a beacon of vessel information and intelligence in its industry. We will always be here to help our clients develop world class software products and services. This project is the consummate testament to our commitment to excellence.