With a wallet full of fresh investment capital from ABS Capital Partners, INTTRA is expanding its e-commerce booking services into East Asia with the opening of a new development center in China and a new office in Japan.
The company, in which ABS invested $30 million in February to take a majority share from its carrier owners, has also announced further expansion of its global development and service center in Singapore.
Formed by ocean carriers in 2000 to create efficiencies by enabling shippers to book their cargo electronically, INTTRA has been a consortium wholly owned by carriers and operated for the benefit of carriers until ABS made its investment.
ABS, a private equity fund specializing in helping later-stage growth companies achieve commercial goals, is now focusing on expanding INTTRA’s commercial offerings.
INTTRA said volume growth in container orders initiated on its platform across the East Asian region has averaged more than 80 percent in the past two years.
It recently signed a long term agreement with Dextrys, a U.S.-based China outsourcing firm delivering product engineering and application services, to establish an offshore development center in China providing additional product development, testing and engineering services to its customers.
“We are seeing a significant increase in new customers in the Asian market who are using INTTRA’s e-commerce platform to increase efficiencies and reduce transaction costs. Our offshore development center in China will help us to significantly expand our product development capabilities and technology presence in China,” said INTTRA CEO Ken Bloom, speaking in Hong Kong.
INTTRA now has more than 60 employees at its global development and service center in Singapore where engineering and quality assurance teams are based, providing clients with round-the-clock coverage in conjunction with colleagues in New Jersey.
INTTRA has confirmed that it will be opening a new office in Tokyo to provide local support to customers in Japan.
“In the last 12 months in the China-Hong Kong region we have a 46 percent increase in our INTTRA Link (I-Link) product. There is a growing awareness within the industry of the value of using a single platform to manage and execute a range of ocean carrier transactions,” Bloom said.
INTTRA Link is an integration service that offers customers with a high volume of shipping transactions the option of using XML or EDI to link their systems with carriers.
INTTRA’s original investors — Maersk Line, Hamburg Sud, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping and CMA CGM, plus United Arab Shipping, which invested in 2002 — retain a minority interest and are represented on the INTTRA board. Swiss forwarder Kuehne + Nagel, which invested in 2001, also retains its stake.
Some of the original investors are expected to sell their minority stakes and take a profit from the investment as INTTRA builds its commercial business.
Contact Peter T. Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org.