Danish shipping giant Maersk has launched an online supply chain platform for small and medium-sized businesses that transport goods by sea, giving them the option to choose carriers other than Maersk.
The new ‘Maersk Flow’ technology was launched last week and the firm claims it will help companies reduce manual work – automating processes while monitoring performance from “factory to market”.
Maersk Flow is aimed at improving client supply chain performance “with less time and effort,” said Martin Holme, the global head of supply chain management and e-commerce logistic for A.P. Moller - Maersk.
In an FAQ about the new platform, Maersk said companies will be able to collaborate with supply chain partners and stakeholders to “manage tasks and performance related to purchase orders, shipper activities, carrier books status and documentation”.
Companies can choose to work with any ocean carrier using the platform, Maersk said.
Users do not need to lodge other freight carrier or forwarder’s rates in the system, with only the carrier name and contract number required for bookings on the platform.
Shipping’s answer to FedEx
The launch is the company’s latest step towards greater digitisation and shipping news website Splash247.com says it should be viewed within Maersk’ wider strategy to become the shipping industry’s answer to FedEx and UPS.
Soren Skou took over as the head of the world’s largest shipping firm four years ago and has made efforts to integrate various strands of Maersk’s businesses to better cross-sell its services to customers.
Moving its offerings online has been a key part of this, with Freight Waves reporting that the firm is introducing new fees to its US and Canada customers for document amendments done over email, phone or chat from 1 September.
A $50 fee will be charged for each manual booking amendment and $75 for a bill-of-lading amendment.