A project aiming to launch a shipbuilding e-marketplace in Korea has collapsed because of conflict of interests among its promoters, according to industry sources. The plan, touted as a representative of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, ended stillborn, not because of a lack of technology but due to the chronic lack of cooperation between Korean shipbuilders. Consequently, each shipbuilder is hurrying to launch its own B2B initiative.
Samsung Heavy Industries this month started an Internet system for the procurement of materials worth 1.4 trillion won a year. The company projects its cost savings will reach 20 billion won a year. Hyundai Heavy Industries is also moving to bolster its B2B capabilities. Watchers said the company would set up an e-marketplace together with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Samho Engineering and Heavy Industry Co. in September or October.
"I think Daewoo Shipbuilding and Hanjin Heavy Industry are likely to launch their own B2B sites around the time when Hyundai's goes into service," an analyst said. He said that the shipbuilders have missed out on an opportunity to elevate the standard of the Korean shipbuilding industry as a whole. "When the project was launched last year, it stood a good chance, so much so that many watchers expected that the shipbuilding industry would set up the e-marketplace ahead of other sectors."