Interview with Grigoris Lamprou, CEO and cofounder of Procureship


Procureship is an innovative e-procurement platform for the global shipping industry. Their industry-leading digital platform seamlessly connects marine buyers with suppliers and service providers all over the world, ensuring that vessels have the goods and parts they need to keep moving. Procureship harnesses the power of Machine Learning and automation software to optimize the maritime procurement process in a way that has not been done before and enables ship owners to overcome several supply chain and financial hurdles for their vessels. We met with Grigoris Lamprou, chief executive officer and co-founder of Procureship, to discuss more about the journey of Procureship. Here's what he told us. 


Tell us a few things about ProcureShip. How did it all start? How did you discover the market opportunity for your technology, and where are you today?

The shipping sector is digitalizing rapidly, with ships and ports becoming smarter and data being used more than ever before to make quick and timely decisions. We started Procureship back in 2016 with my Co-Founder and current Chief Operating Officer, Aris Manassakis, when we realized the potential that automation could have to improve the capabilities of the procurement sector of the maritime industry. Our background in shipping and data analytics made us realize the problems that traditional procurement faces. I believe it could be done much better and bring real change to the way buyers and suppliers interact.

When we started Procureship, I kept hearing one phrase from ship owners and operators: ' It costs what it costs’. These decision-makers often see procurement as a necessary cost that must be paid to keep their ships floating and ensure they remain regulated. There was not a great understanding of the benefits of ML and automation and how they could enable ship owners to access a wider range of business partners and cut costs simultaneously. We saw a gap in the market, launched Procureship and today, more than 60 buyers representing over 1,750 globally trading merchant vessels worldwide are using our platform to connect with hundreds of service providers.

We have also spread our wings beyond our home in Athens. In 2023, we opened new offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Singapore. While a digital platform, we still realize the importance of having a local presence in some of the shipping industry’s major regions. Greece, Northern Europe, and Singapore are hubs of the maritime sector, and I am proud that Procureship now has a presence in these areas. We also have plans in store for further expansion in the not-to-distant future, which I am excited about.


How do you differentiate from other similar offers in the market? What value does ProcureShip bring to the clients and partners?

Traditional procurement processes face a number of major inefficiencies. Back-and-forth email communications and paper-based documentation can result in a slow, cumbersome, and fragmented operation that is often at risk of human error. What Procureship offers the market is a completely digital and online platform that completely overhauls traditional procurement. Bringing the entire process online improves visibility and transparency, reduces rogue spending, and gives decision-makers greater control over the entire purchasing process.

Since we launched in 2016, our data has shown that, by using this model, procurement departments can process their orders up to 35% more quickly. This is a huge saving for man-hours and can alleviate the administrative burden on manual processes. From our perspective, we have taken the maritime procurement process to the next level, and we continue to be at the forefront of the industry when it comes to ensuring technology is utilized in the best manner possible.

This is because we have leveraged ML and automation to develop Procureship. We have created a sophisticated set of algorithms and a bespoke Recommendation Engine that enables buyers to seamlessly access a global network of suppliers and process their orders more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

However, while technology remains critical to what we offer our users, we also want to understand their problems. This means developing close relationships with all of our users, and we have a dedicated in-house customer service team that is always looking out for our users' best interests. Our entire team is also always looking to learn more about the problems our customers face. That often means partnering with industry experts to understand the problem so we can develop an innovative solution using Procureship’s technology. For example, we learned that many of our users were having problems ensuring their purchases complied with hazardous material regulations. As a result, we built an innovative documentation feature into Procureship that users can utilize to ensure all relevant forms are submitted in one simple system. The market response to this feature has been fantastic and is a great example of Procureship staying ahead of the curve regarding industry trends and offering solutions to our customers.

What makes us different is our balance of technology and customer-focused efforts. We could have provided an online platform that fully utilizes technology and never truly engages with our users. However, shipping remains a people business, and building relationships with our customers has been vital to reaching our success. I am proud of the platform we have built but even more proud of the team effort and spirit Procureship has always to put our customers first.


What would you consider to have been (or are) your biggest challenge so far?

Digital platforms never stand still. The needs of procurement professionals are always changing and Procureship is always looking to adapt and remain flexible to changing industry trends either in the market or from our users. This means streamlining or altering our current processes or, as I have mentioned before, adding new features that meet the needs of our users.

That is not to mention the challenge of connecting buyers and suppliers for vessels that are rarely in the same place for very long and are always on the move. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the procurement process. You may have a pre-established relationship with a supplier, but if they cannot reach your vessel in a certain part of the world in a certain timeframe, you can find yourself adrift. This is a major advantage of Procureship’s offer to the market. By utilizing an e-procurement service like Procureship, procurement departments can compare local and trusted suppliers near where a vessel is docked and ensure the part or service they need reaches the vessel in time.

Utilizing data this way is invaluable for improving your procurement capabilities. For Procureship, we are always showcasing how to utilize data to make critical and more informed decisions that can have a long-term positive impact on a ship owner.    


What are the biggest learnings from your journey so far?

One of the biggest takeaways we have learned from our journey so far is how important good quality data is to an effective digital platform. We can boast about how good our service is all we want, but if the data we offer is of poor quality, then this can result in procurement managers overspending on parts or buying parts that are not fit for purpose. High-quality suppliers and services offer a better return on investment.

We realised how important the quality of our data on our platform is to our users. Our team is continuously analyzing the data we receive and working with our suppliers to ensure it is of the best quality possible so that all of our users have the confidence to know that they are making the best decisions possible when using Procureship.


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