Bunker Connect is a Rotterdam based bunker broker, serving ship operators and bunker suppliers worldwide through an in-house developed online deal-making platform. Co-founder and director Konstantin Kaminski: 'We connect demand and supply five times more effectively than traditional brokers and traders. This means that we save ship operators thousands of dollars. To us Rotterdam is the ideal testing ground for our innovative platform. It is the cheapest bunker port for marine fuel in the world and because of that, there are a lot of bunker stems in Rotterdam.’ But this not the only reason Rotterdam is the perfect location for this start-up.
Rotterdam, personal contact above a telephone call.
Konstantin: 'Many shipping companies are based in Rotterdam. That means that we can do business close by. Meeting someone in person is of course much more pleasant than over the telephone. Moreover, the Rotterdam mentality ensures that we know exactly where we stand. We do not have to talk endlessly with parties from which you know it is not going to happen. ‘
Buying bunker at true market prices
Via Bunker Connect vessels can request quotes for the fuel. The platform forwards the application to local suppliers, who can submit an offer. Konstantin: ‘Our shipping clients can buy bunkers at the true market price by starting a bidding process on our deal-making platform. All local suppliers are able to bid, and the ship operator is completely informed in the process. Our clients can also indicate their satisfaction with that supplier, which makes picking and choosing a lot easier next time. Using an algorithm, we can even indicate in advance when to refuel. This allows ships to plan ahead and already request local quotations. On top of direct savings, we remove the financial risk of bankruptcy of intermediaries, by connecting the buyer directly with the physical suppliers. Bunker Connect focuses on providing more transparency, personal service, and full integration.’
Port XL Accelerator Program
Rotterdam helps innovative companies in many ways. The PortXL Accelerator Program is one of them and Bunker Connect participated this year in this program. Konstantin: 'Thanks to the PortXL Accelerator Program we were able to expand our network and get in touch with potential clients. We have a great relationship with PortXL and join them during international event like SMM in Hamburg or Venture Day in Gdansk. PortXL is very internationally orientated, and so perfect for us.´'
Lively and a great infrastructure
‘Konstantin: ‘Rotterdam itself is a very pleasant city. It has a vibrant atmosphere, a huge port, a top university, great infrastructure, and at half an hour distance, you can fly to every possible place in the world. We are looking forward to expanding to places such as Singapore and Houston in the coming years. But leaving Rotterdam … I cannot imagine it.’