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Instant online container booking from Maersk

Maersk has launched an instant booking system for its container services, aiming to allow customers to book a container with the shipping company as easily as booking a flight ticket online.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Instant booking confirmation will allow customers to complete their bookings within seconds, compared to previous waiting times of up to two hours, the company said, removing uncertainty and extra workloads in managing supply chains.

“Instant booking confirmation makes it faster, easier and simpler for our customers to interact with Maersk. It is a milestone for the entire industry and a concrete example of how we are bringing our strategy to life when we improve the customer experience through seamless digital offerings,” said Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer, A.P. Moller - Maersk.

Customers get visibility of sailing options with available vessel space, a list of depots with empty containers to choose from and a choice of relevant value adding services.

Maersk says that it also provides certainty that a booking will not be cancelled at a later stage. Issues such as lack of vessel space or equipment availability have previously led to about 10 per cent of bookings placed in Maersk’s systems being either rejected or confirmed for an alternative sailing, generating a large volume of customer follow up questions and requests for changes.

These follow-up inquiries have accounted for 15 per cent of all Maersk customer service calls and chats, and close to 200,000 e-mails every month, the company says, a workload that the new system is designed to reduce.

Alongside the release of instant booking confirmation, Maersk is also introducing online booking via the Maersk App, enabling instant bookings directly from mobile phones.

“Maersk operates in several markets where mobile phones make up the primary working tool for the workforce. Here, Instant Booking Confirmation straight from the mobile phone will be a huge improvement for our customers’ supply chain managers – it will further enable trade in these markets,” said Sonny Dahl, global head of customer experience & service, A.P. Moller - Maersk.

Instant booking confirmation is available in beta for all customers using the online booking modules for the Maersk Line, SeaLand and Safmarine brands. The functionality is currently limited to dry cargo shipments, with refrigerated cargo, dangerous cargo (IMDG) and inland container yards expected to be added during 2019.{/mprestriction}

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