Maersk to Address Overbookings with New Digital Product

Danish shipping giant Maersk has introduced Maersk Spot, a new fully digitally enabled, online product that can break the cycle of overbookings and offer a much simpler way to ship a container with load guarantee.

Illustration. Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

With the launch of the new product, Maersk said it 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,” Silvia Ding, Global Head of Ocean Products at Maersk, explained.

“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,” Ding added.

With Maersk Spot, customers can search and get rates online 24/7, according to the company. 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.

“Maersk Spot … 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,” Ding further said.

Specifically, 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.

As informed, the mutual commitment paired with increased visibility of sailings and certainty of prices has been to date embraced by more than 3,000 customers each week, with already over 50,000 Forty-Foot-Equivalent (FFE) units booked in Q2.

Maersk Spot is now available on all trades, except in and out of US. Currently available as BETA site, the product will be implemented on Maersk website at the beginning of August.