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Maersk moves to automate freight rates as shipping is ‘at times, quite painful.’

Maersk CEO Soren Skou at the company’s analyst day in Copenhagen ( Photo: Maersk )

Maersk becomes second major carrier to sign on with CargoSphere this year.


Maersk Line will start distributing rates and other cost information digitally as it addresses customer frustration in ocean shipping.

The world’s largest shipping line will use software and services from CargoSphere to distribute rates, tariff and surcharges to shipper, freight forwarder and non-vessel owning ocean carrier (NVOCC) customers, the North Carolina-based company said today.

CargoSphere’s platform automates the handling of multiple rate quotes, tariffs and surcharges that used to require manual uploading and updates. CargoSphere says the new distribution platform will be “complementary to Maersk’s online quoting solutions.”

Carsten Frank Olsen, who heads Maersk’s e-commerce efforts, says the distribution through the CargoSphere platform is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to simplify the process of booking ocean freight.

In February, chief executive Soren Skou told a crowd assembled at the company’s capital markets day that customers have a dim view of ocean shipping due to complexity of customer interactions.

“When you ask global shippers – our customers – about how they perceive our industry, what they will tell you is two things,” Skou said. “First they will tell you that global shipping is actually quite inexpensive, to the point where global transportation costs hardly factor where they decide to manufacture their products today.

“They will also tell you,though, that global shipping is difficult, it’s complicated, it can be frustrating and it’s at times quite painful,” he added. “We are building a strategy where we aim to deal with those issues because We truly believe we can do a better job for our customers.”  


The 19-year old CargoSphere, now part of logistics software company WiseTech Global, says the benefits to shippers include cost savings, improved data accuracy, online access to timely rates for better decision making, faster reconciliation of invoices and faster quoting to customers for freight forwarders and NVOCCs.

Neil Barni, managing director of CargoSphere, says having the world’s largest shipping line “go live on the CargoSphere platform is a big signal of its intent to transform its own key processes and the industry solutions it takes to market.”

This will be CargoSphere’s second ocean carrier customer announcement this year after having signed Hapag-Lloyd in March.