Dubai-headquartered logistics firm DP World has launched a new fintech platform covering trade, logistics and inventory finance, which aims to boost support to SME importers and exporters. 

Live since October 13, the Cargoes Finance platform offers a variety of pre and post-shipment financing products, as well as extended payment terms, the company says. 

It also gives financing options for logistics processes, receivables and payables financing, and invoice discounting, and users can boost working capital by using inventory as collateral. 

“Growing businesses can often lack the capital and resources required to drive global expansion, often exacerbated by prohibitive financial requirements and copious documentation,” says Mike Bhaskaran, DP World’s chief operating officer for logistics and technology. 

“We designed Cargoes Finance to mitigate these constraints, unlocking new opportunities for SMEs to compete and reach a global market.” 

The launch follows the August appointment of former Maersk Trade Finance executive Sinan Ozcan as senior executive officer and board director for financial services. DP World said at the time Ozcan’s “first project” would be to oversee the launch of Cargoes Finance. 

In a statement accompanying the platform’s launch, Ozcan says companies are already reaching “more international customers that were previously cost-prohibitive to access”. 

“Globally, small-to-medium-sized businesses handle 50% of trade, yet only a few have access to funding with little chance of it being approved,” he says. 

The platform’s launch comes as the global trade finance gap hits new highs, with research by the Asian Development Bank finding supply now outstrips demand by US$1.7tn – a 15% increase on the figure from 2018. 

The ADB found that fewer than a quarter of applications for financing came from SMEs, yet 40% of all rejected trade finance requests were from this segment. 

DP World says Cargoes Finance requires “minimal documentation” and involves a simple online application process, with approval decisions made quickly using technology. 

The platform is provided by DP World Financial Services Limited, a Dubai-regulated entity incorporated in May this year.