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Maersk simplifies buying with online spot booking tool

Maersk has launched a new online product to provide customers with a cargo loading guarantee at a fixed price upfront.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The new product, Maersk Spot, simplifies some of the inefficiencies shippers experience in their operations today. The new tool aims to break the cycle of overbookings and offer a much simpler way to ship a container with load guarantee.

Customers can search and get competitive rates online 24/7 using Maersk Spot. 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, simplifying the buying process.

“It is not uncommon to see overbookings to the tune of 30 per cent, 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,” stated 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 onboard. Ultimately allowing customers to move their cargo in a much simpler and more reliable way.”

“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.”

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. 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,” said Ramakrishnan D, general marketing manager of The Ramco Cements. “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.{/mprestriction}

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