Shipping a container has been a complex process for many years. Manual and inefficient, the buying and booking process has been often full of surprises. With the launch of Maersk Spot, Maersk aims to introduce a truly online product that can break the cycle of overbookings and offer a much simpler way to ship a container with load guarantee.
Copenhagen, Denmark — Maersk has expanded its product offering with Maersk Spot. Fully digitally enabled, the new online product provides customers a cargo loading guarantee at a fixed price upfront. With the launch of the new product, Maersk takes further steps towards simplifying the supply chains of its customers by addressing some of the fundamental inefficiencies that exist across the industry.
“It is not uncommon to see overbookings to the tune of 30%, and often this leads to rolling of the customers’ cargoes since there is overbooking to compensate for the high downfall. This creates a lot of uncertainty for our customers,” says Silvia Ding, Global Head of Ocean Products at Maersk. “With Maersk Spot, we provide full visibility of the price and terms that will ensure cargoes get on board. Ultimately allowing customers to move their cargo in a much simpler and more reliable way.”
With Maersk Spot, customers can search and get competitive rates online 24/7. The all-in price is calculated and fixed when the booking is confirmed, which happens instantly. This dynamic online pricing fixed at booking creates one transaction for the customer from quotation to booking confirmation, profoundly simplifying the buying process.
“Maersk Spot radically simplifies the buying experience for our customers. Today’s offline process can be up to 13 individual steps, often involving a lot of communication and paper work from rate sheets to terms and conditions and surcharges, etc. With Maersk Spot, this cumbersome process is reduced to five simple and integrated steps – all online,” says Ding.
When a booking is confirmed by the customer, Maersk commits to load and grants certainty in operational execution. This is a mutual commitment between the customer and Maersk which ensures that the vicious cycle of overbookings is addressed. In case of booking cancellations, fees apply at the customer’s charge. If cargo is rolled, Maersk compensates the customer. The mutual commitment paired with increased visibility of sailings and certainty of prices has been to date embraced by more than 3,000 unique customers each week, with already over 50,000 Forty-Foot-Equivalent (FFE) units booked in Q2.
One of the customers already using Maersk Spot is The Ramco Cements Limited. The company sends around 120-200 containers from Kattupalli port to Colombo every week, making their bookings one to two weeks in advance to ensure they can deliver to their customers on time with the best deal possible.
“We are quite proactive about our bookings but there were still cases where our shipments were not loaded due to capacity issues which resulted in the loss of trust with some of our customers,” says Ramakrishnan Vivekanandan, General Marketing Manager of The Ramco Cements Limited. “With Maersk Spot, we no longer have the uncertainty of not knowing if we can actually provide our customers with their shipments.”
Maersk Spot is now available on all trades, except in and out of U.S. Currently available as BETA site, the product will be implemented on maersk.com at the beginning of August.