The Netherlands: Responding to the perceived need for a ‘safer and more efficient trading environment’, the newly-founded Scrap Connection launched an industry-specific digital marketplace on July 12. The on-line platform serves to connect communities worldwide and ‘provides a market that never sleeps’, says CEO Chris Yerbey.
The Scrap Connection marketplace covers a large part of the scrap chain, encompassing scrap processors located in Western countries and steel mills in the East. ‘But, importantly, besides a tool to do good business, it is also a tool with which to foster and create business relationships,’ states Mr Yerbey. Some 31 scrapyards with a combined import and export value of Euro 240 million have already registered, he points out.
‘We allow our site members to compose a profile and interact with other members of the industry,’ explains Sales Manager Johan Smit. ‘This provides a real opportunity as it brings people together who otherwise wouldn’t have come across each other, resulting in interesting business deals.’ Due to the website being a gated community, traders are able operate undisturbed and in full privacy, he adds.
‘What’s more, due to our extensive options, any trader can look up the score of another trader, thereby verifying how reliable he is and thus deciding whether to go ahead with a transaction or not,’ says Mr Smit. Should any issues arise with other members, such as a cargo that never made it to the docks or a postponed payment, this will be directly displayed via the public rating system. ‘This ensures you know just who you’re dealing with,’ remarks Mr Smit.
According to Mr Yerbey, the first on-line auction is scheduled to take place on July 18, with the period leading up to that date seen as a ‘review phase’ of sorts during which time members can map out their gains. Overall, he believes the scrap marketplace will turn out to be ‘the next big thing’.
The CEO predicts that Scrap Connection will contribute around Euro 20-25 million a month in transactions come 2013. During the initial phase, this will involve only ferrous materials - with a subsequent expansion into other metals, notably aluminium.
The new platform has been in the works for around one and a half years and was selected to participate in the European start-up accelerator programme Bootcamp Start-up 2012, as a result of which it received significant funds as well as input from media-savvy mentors to help with its development.