LIKE so many companies in the tank truck and bulk logistics industry, Modern Bulk Transporter is establishing an Internet presence. We have had a website online at www.bulktransporter.com since January, and we've fine-tuned it to the point that we believe it's now ready to officially introduce to the industry.
Compared with other websites that have Java Script and all sorts of animated graphics, www.bulktransporter.com is not flashy. Our objective is to focus on content; to provide the sort of information that this industry needs in order to perform safely and efficiently. The site is meant to enhance our magazine, not replace it.
The website opens with a collection of fleet profiles and other feature stories. Also on the opening page are industry news items. We've already begun a minor redesign to make this part of the website more useful to viewers. We are putting more emphasis on the industry news stories and adding a new section that highlights breaking news.
Modern Bulk Transporter continues to build readership in Latin America, and we have included a Spanish-to-English tank truck vocabulary on the website. This list is far from complete, and we encourage our readers to submit additional terms. We want this vocabulary to be as comprehensive as possible.
In another section, we're posting links to tank fleets, storage terminal operators, associations, government agencies, and suppliers. We'll add more as we receive them. We believe viewers will find the links to material safety data sheets sites to be particularly useful. Other pages give viewers an opportunity to check on convention dates, submit a subscription renewal, or browse through classified advertising.
We continue to tinker with the website. In the near future, we'll add a page for submitting letters to the editor. Further down the road, we are making plans for online versions of some of our most-requested guides, including the Gross Revenue Report, Tank Repair Directory, and Directory of Tank Cleaning Facilities.
The Modern Bulk Transporter website is just a part of something much bigger. Through our parent company-Intertec Publishing-we are linked to TruckindustryClick (www.truckindustryclick.com), which is creating something called a vertical online community (VOC).
This megasite is designed to become a central location for a broad spectrum of industry content (news, information, research, and job opportunities), community (chat rooms and discussion groups), and commerce (auctions and request-for-proposal systems). Industry professionals will be able to stay informed, communicate with their peers on many levels, find product and service information, and stay abreast of the job market.
VOC sites are expected to play an increasingly important role in online business transactions. In fact, some projections suggest that these types of sites could account for as much as 53% of online transactions within the next four years.
In short, this is our move into e-commerce. Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce activity is expected to generate $2.7 trillion a year by 2004. Studies suggest that B2B e-commerce is where the action will be in the future.
That may explain the frenzied Internet activity that we are seeing throughout the transportation and logistics sectors. For instance, a multitude of new B2B dotcoms (most of them focused on the marketing of transportation equipment and services) were announced during the Mid-America Trucking Show in March in Louisville, Kentucky. Coverage of the show starts on page 106.
Bulk logistics is very much a part of the e-commerce revolution, and advocates suggest that the Internet offers the potential to wring significant new efficiencies out of the distribution chain. Operations that have been launched this year or are under development include Bulknet.com, ShipChem.com, and TransLink.
It's hard to say where all of this will go. What we can say for sure is that Modern Bulk Transporter is now on the Internet. We hope to see all of our readers there.