Editor’s Note: INTTRA is the largest neutral electronic transaction software platform and information provider at the center of the ocean shipping industry. CEO John Fay explains in this exclusive interview how new trends in e-commerce are driving business in this sector.Logistics Management: Is consumer demand for faster service having an impact on ocean carrier deployments and schedules?John Fay: The main impact of consumer-driven e-commerce on ocean shipping is not on deployments and schedules, but rather shippers’ needs for more efficient shipment management through e-commerce. LM: So shippers are demanding more granular market intelligence?Fay: That’s right. They want a timely, seamless process for bookings, shipping instructions, electronic bills of lading and other digitized functions that facilitate choice, transparency and efficiency.LM: What other trends do you see as a consequence of e-commerce?Fay: The major trends in ocean shipping are consolidation – both on shipper and carrier sides – and technology adoption, first and foremost e-commerce. INTTRA grew its container volume by 16% in 2016.LM: What other factors contributed to this explosive expansion?Fay: Our rapid growth not only reflects that we have invested in our core platform and products, created new products and reached out to new customer segments; it also points to industry-wide recognition that e-commerce adoption has become indispensable. LM: So what’s the payoff for shippers?Fay: Companies that utilize e-commerce for shipment management most effectively are more likely to emerge from this downturn as stronger companies within a smaller group of industry leaders than those on the wrong side of the divide.LM: So how will your company address this “digital divide?Fay: INTTRA has a unique position as the largest n eutral transaction and data platform at the center of the ocean industry – handling about 27% of all ocean container shipments on our platform. We leverage our network of over 110,000 shippers and over 45 carriers to grow e-commerce adoption and to introduce new products and services that drive greater efficiency and strong revenue growth for our customers. LM: But some middlemen are still behind the times…correct?Fay: Yes, that’s right. We estimate that 50% of all container orders are still conducted manually – by phone, fax or email. Joining our digital network is the most efficient means of adopting e-commerce.LM: Yet you have reason this will change shortly.Fay: One reason to be optimistic that e-commerce adoption will further accelerate is that the vast majority of submissions of verified gross mass information for compliance with the SOLAS VGM container weight rule are digital.LM: So, finally, it was compliance that drove to much of this adaption?Fay: INTTRA led a very successful industry coalition formed to express a preference for digital VGM solutions and establish common standards. INTTRA also developed the INTTRA eVGM Service, which allows shippers to use credit cards to pay on a per-container basis.