INTERNATIONAL shipping giant Maersk has announced a new product called Maersk Spot, an online concept aimed at breaking the cycle of overbookings.

According to Maersk, the new product provides customers with a cargo loading guarantee at a fixed upfront price.

Maersk global head of ocean products Silvia Ding said it was “not uncommon” to see overbookings to the tune of 30% leading to rolling of the customers’ cargoes.

“This creates a lot of uncertainty for our customers,” Ms Ding said.

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“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.”

Ms Ding said Maersk Spot “radically simplifies” the buying experience for 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,” she said.

“With Maersk Spot, this cumbersome process is reduced to five simple and integrated steps – all online.”

One of the customers already using Maersk Spot is Ramco Cements.

The company sends around 120-200 containers from Kattupalli, India, to Colombo, Sri Lanka, every week, making their bookings one to two weeks in advance.

Ramco Cements general marketing manager Ramakrishnan Vivekanandan said they were proactive about bookings but there were still cases where shipments were not loaded due to capacity issues.

“With Maersk Spot, we no longer have the uncertainty of not knowing if we can actually provide our customers with their shipments,” Mr Vivekanandan said.

Maersk Spot is now available on all trades, except in and out of US. Currently available as BETA site, the product is to be implemented on maersk.com at the start of August.

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