Maersk promises on-time delivery

So-called “phantom bookings,” may be countered with a surcharge to compensate for lost revenue on any given voyage

By Patrick Burnson · September 13, 2011

Following its promise to be more collaborative with shippers, Maersk Line is introducing a time-definite service in the booming Asia-EU trade lane.

“A daily service between Asia and North Europe with reliable on-time delivery will change liner shipping forever,” spokesmen in Copenhagen declared. “Up until now, customers have had to adjust their production schedules and supply chains to accommodate shipping lines’ unreliability, as they have never been able to trust that their cargo would be on time.”

This will be thing of the past, Maersk promised, noting that the engine behind Daily Maersk is 70 vessels operating a daily sailings between four ports in Asia (Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian and Tanjung Pelepas) and three ports in Europe (Felixstowe, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven) in what amounts to a giant “ocean conveyor belt” in the carrier’s busiest global service.

In a speech given last June at a major EU logistics event, Maersk Line CEO, Eivind Kolding said the container shipping industry stands on the brink of an “era-defining moment” as it faces fundamental challenges. He added that if container the shipping industry is to secure its right to operate in the future, the industry needs to change now.??

This latest announcement seems to reflect that attitude, said analysts. Zim Line has been ramping up its premium service in the trade lane, as well.


At the same time, however, Maersk and other carriers may soon be holding shippers accountable for freight that is promised, but does not appear. So-called “phantom bookings,” may be countered with a surcharge to compensate for lost revenue on any given voyage.

This, said one analyst, must be exercised with caution:

“Maersk has every right to demand such an arrangement,” said Charles Clowdis, Jr., managing director-transportation advisory services, at IHS Global Insight. “But until capacity is controlled or withdrawn, it’s going to be tough to enforce.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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