Maersk launches guaranteed container service

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Maersk Line is launching a guaranteed on-time delivery service between Asia and Europe with a daily cut-off, which it reckons could save customers up to $500 per container, and cut inventory by 50 per cent.

The “Daily Maersk” service will offer fixed transport times along 12 corridors, guaranteed with compensation of US$100 for any container delayed by one to three days, and US$300 for each container delayed for four days or more.

The promise of “absolute reliability” is in response to customer demand, and what chief executive Eivind Kolding describes as the “appalling” industry standard of just 50 per cent of containers arriving on time.

The offering represents an aggressive move by the world’s largest shipping line at a time when capacity is high and market conditions are weak. It is targeting larger customers with more sophisticated supply chains that will get the greatest benefit from the streamlined service.

The new service will calculate transport times for each customer which is the number of days between cut-off at origin, and the cargo availability. This factors in the transit time, berthing time, and any additional waiting or delays.

The daily cut-off will limit customers’ storage fees for missing weekly cut-offs. Kolding said: “Daily Maersk will consist of more than 70 vessels operating a daily service between four ports in Asia and three ports in Europe in what amounts to a giant ocean conveyor belt for the world’s busies trade lane.”

The promised transport times will be:
* Ningbo to Felixstowe, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam: 36 days
*Shanghai to Felixstowe, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam: 34 days
* Yantian to Felixstowe, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam: 30 days
* Tanjung Pelepas to Felixstowe, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam: 26 days

Maersk argues that the more robust and steady service will allow slower sailing, which is more fuel efficient and therefore environmentally sound.

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