After years of research...
Open Ocean Trading was born from several years of detailed research on two distinct industries: forward markets and seafood markets. Our team identified some exciting and generally overlooked areas of overlap between these two areas. These revelations led to the formation of Open Ocean Trading.
The practice of trading agricultural products, livestock, and other foodstuffs on a forward basis dates back to classical civilizations such as ancient Sumer. In these early days, people sought ways to standardize contracts in order to make trading itself smoother and more predictable. Complex global markets evolved to trade metals, spices, cloth, wood, weapons, and food. Amidst all the perils of the time, reputation and clearing became critical to the success of these markets and were key factors in the growth of empires that were trusted to mediate trade.
Buyers and sellers have always sought price stability, predictability, and market access. Reputation and value-add have always underpinned successful exchanges.
By the middle of the 19th century, organized exchanges began to spring up throughout the United States, mostly at ports and railroad stations. These marketplaces provided a venue for buyers and sellers to establish quality standards and the rules of trade. During this period, market manipulation was commonplace, and many exchanges failed for that reason. The Darwinian evolution of exchanges served to reinforce the critical importance of an exchange's reputation and the sanctity of its contract.
To conduct business on an exchange, buyers and sellers demand transparency, fairness, and a solid legal contract. Also, exchange trading must be integrated with existing supply chains.
Fishing is among the most ancient avocations, followed naturally by trading seafood. In recent history, seafood has been traded predominantly through auctions and "buying stations" (wharfs, pack-out houses, co-ops, and other decentralized marketplaces). These venues have provided the industry with vital price discovery mechanisms and an important outlet for harvested products. In the mid 1980's, the first electronic multi-location display auction was introduced in the United States, offering buyers and sellers greater transparency, efficiency, and tools to manage risk. Nevertheless, the evolution of seafood exchanges stopped short at spot trading, where harvested products are bought and sold once unloaded at a dock.
Open Ocean Trading was formed as the next step in the evolution of seafood markets. We believe that buyers and sellers alike desire greater control over their businesses - more certainty and predictability along with broader market access. We believe that buyers and sellers want to feel confident that the investments they make in their businesses will pay off. We believe that buyers and sellers want to transact in a trusted and reputable marketplace that champions fairness and transparency.
In light of all the uncertainty in the seafood industry today - from changing governmental and environmental regulations to volatile auction prices - Open Ocean Trading offers refuge and stability. Now you can now buy or sell your product at a price you agree upon ahead of time and take back control of your destiny.