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Maersk to offer trade financing in six U.S. states

The world’s largest ocean carrier has piloted a program in four countries to offer loan capital to shippers and has recently expanded that facility to importers and exporters to the United States.

   Maersk Line has begun offering trade finance to shippers in six states after successfully piloting a similar program in four countries in Europe and Asia, the Danish ocean carrier said in a statement Wednesday.
   The program is designed to give Maersk customers an alternative to bank financing for shipping and trade-related services attached to their ocean freight, freeing those companies to reserve capital for other uses.
   Maersk conducted what it called “successful” pilots in Singapore, India, the Netherlands and Spain and is now rolling the program out to shippers in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, and Florida initially.
   To participate, customers need to provide three years of audited financial statements, financial institution information, and Know Your Customer (KYC) paperwork, similar to that which banks require.
   The program is designed to quickly establish credit worthiness, considering both the shipper’s financials and shipping history with Maersk Line.
   It is also designed as end-to-end digital solution, including the provision of an electronic bill of lading, with faster release of funds at gate-in as opposed to when documents are submitted. Shippers using the program also don’t need to provide collateral, other than shipping with Maersk or its subsidiaries.
   The program is open to all Maersk customers, but a spokesperson told American Shipper the company is especially targeting sectors at the value end of business, including manufacturers, refrigerated products, chemicals, apparel/textiles, and appliances.
   Maersk also noted that its global footprint allows it to have relationships and intelligence in markets where its customers and their banks might not have access.