Danish shipping and logistics major Maersk has introduced instant booking confirmation for containers.
The company said the move was aimed at eliminating waiting times, as the delay in booking confirmation, which has now been reduced from up to two hours to a few seconds, triggers uncertainty and extra workloads in managing supply chains for customers.
“We are now making it as easy for our customers to book a container as booking a flight ticket. 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,” says Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk.
Maersk said that the new solution provides greater 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. It also ensures that a booking will not be cancelled at a later stage.
“Due to e.g. lack of vessel space or equipment availability, around 10% of bookings placed in Maersk’s systems were previously either rejected or confirmed for an alternative sailing, often spurring customers to follow up with questions and requests for changes. Such follow-up inquiries have accounted for 15% of all Maersk customer service calls and chats – and close to 200,000 emails every month,” the company explained.
The solution can be accessed through the online booking modules of the Maersk Line, SeaLand and Safmarine brands, covering dry cargo shipments. Refrigerated cargo, dangerous cargo (IMDG) and inland container yards are expected to be added during 2019. The instant booking confirmation is also available via the Maersk App.