American Shipper

FIVE MAJOR OCEAN CARRIERS SET UP JOINT BOOKING PORTAL

FIVE MAJOR OCEAN CARRIERS SET UP JOINT BOOKING PORTAL

      Maersk Sealand, P&O Nedlloyd, Hamburg-Sud, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM have signed an agreement to launch a joint shipping portal on the Internet.

   The common Internet platform, named INTTRA, will enable transportation users to track and trace cargo, access scheduling information, book services and manage shipping transactions on the Internet.

   The carriers described the Internet system as “the first open containerized transportation portal backed by ocean carriers.”

   Implementation of the portal is subject to regulatory approval.

   INTTRA aims to offer “one-stop-shopping” capabilities for customers of the global container transport industry.

   The first version of the shipping portal will provide transportation users with a single point of entry for tracking cargo movements with multiple carriers. Additional planned services are access to scheduling, booking requests, booking cargo across several carriers and proactive event notification.

   The information site of the five-carrier portal is www.inttra.com.

   INTTRA aims at simplifying the business processes involved in container shipping by providing an easier approach to performing business transactions electronically.

   The group of carriers said that they have initiated the project because “customers are looking for more visibility, greater standardization and improved data quality along the supply chain.”

   Although other dot.coms are moving away from similar business models, a spokesman for the portal said that INTTRA “is based on customer requirements identified by market research and our pilot customers.” Furthermore, INTTRA is operationally and financially backed by major ocean carriers with a long-term industry perspective in mind, the group said. INTTRA has no venture capital back-up.

   All service contracts and agreements will remain between customers and carriers. “INTTRA is not a means for carriers to share commercial information,” the group said.

   Temporarily based near Copenhagen, INTTRA will have headquarters in the New York metropolitan area. It will be incorporated in the U.S.