The Danish ocean carrier piloted the platform in November, but has now opened the program to all customers on the Asia to South America and Africa trade lanes.
Maersk Line has launched a new online platform for end-to-end freight booking that aims to reduce last-minute booking cancellations, a spokesperson for the Danish ocean carrier has confirmed.
The platform offers services on selected routes and ports in North China, including Qingdao, Xingang and Dalian to the East Coast of South America, West Africa and Southern part of Africa. However, Maersk “intends to continuously review performance and consider further expansion to other trades and ports going forward.”
A dozen customers trialed the program in November, via ship.maerskline.com, but now the platform is now officially opened to all customers, said Maersk. “Customers get more control as bookings trigger equipment and space commitment with Maersk Line. Further, Maersk Line will provide customers compensation should a booking not proceed as planned. A cancellation fee for ‘no-shows’ from the customers’ side is also introduced,” the ocean carrier said.
“Technology and digitalization are changing global trading patterns. Maersk Line remains committed to serve new and existing customers with innovative solutions that connect and simplify supply chains,” said Silvia Ding, senior vice president and head of trade management of Maersk Line. “This pilot platform will provide stability to the supply chain of our customers, increase transparency in pricing and service promises and help improve Maersk Line’s operational efficiency as well.
“We aim to improve our planning and vessel optimization through this online model. In Asia, our industry is seeing very high no-show ratios for bookings and a huge variation in the no-show ratio from week to week and vessel to vessel. This presents a huge challenge for carriers in delivering a reliable product to the customers,” said Ding. “We believe that by aligning to the best practices of other industries such as airlines, we can over time reduce or eliminate no-shows and enable more predictable and cost-effective service to our customers.”
While the issue of booking cancellations and no shows has plagued the shipping industry for years, there are readily available solutions. Maersk noted that for every shipment, they “introduce equipment, space commitment and compensation should a booking not proceed as planned,” while other software providers and logistics companies have measures in place to ensure all parties are compliant. Details on further solutions can be read in American Shipper’s December edition of the magazine.