A leading software supplier to the shipping industry said on Friday it had launched a new internet-based tool for the chartering and operation of tankers.
Strategic Software said in a statement: "The TankerIMX product being created by Stategic is a robust collection of tools for our industry - charterers, owners, brokers, agents..."
It said the system had been developed with support from three U.S. ship brokerages: Dietze, McQuilling and Weber.
Strategic said the product would: "target those areas where great productivity gains can be achieved through the intelligent use of web-based technology."
Strategic Software, which acquired its closest competitor Dataworks in May, has long dominated the shipping sector.
In the last two years it has come under increasing pressure from internet start-ups keen on taking a slice of the $120 billion per year maritime freight industry.
The system is likely to compete with the online services of London's Baltic Exchange
, which will be launched next Monday.
To some extent it also competes with LSX-2, a product being developed for online ship chartering
by London-based Levelseas. But unlike LSX-2, TankerIMX has no functionality for negotiating freight rates
and concluding deals.