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Daily Maersk, Maersk Line’s new service on the Asia-North Europe trade lane, is expected to dramatically change the way shipping is done – it offers a daily cut-off at the same time every day, seven days a week, and always with the exact same transportation time, according to Transport Weekly.

The report, quoting Exim News Service, said the new Maersk service means containerised cargo will now be delivered with unprecedented frequency and reliability.

A daily service between Asia and North Europe with reliable on-time delivery will change liner shipping forever. 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.

Not anymore. The engine behind Daily Maersk is 70 vessels operating a daily service 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 for the world’s busiest trade lane.

Regardless of which of the four Asian ports the cargo is loaded at, the transportation time—from cut-off to cargo availability—is fixed.

Daily cut-offs mean that cargo can be shipped immediately after production without the need for storage.

The report said Maersk Line’s promise is that cargo at the other end will be available for pick-up on the agreed date. The promise is backed up with monetary compensation, should customers’ containers not arrive on time, the report said. This promise is a first in the shipping industry.

“We set out to design a service that takes the stress out of our customers’ lives, to change shipping from the weakest to the strongest link in the supply chain. After all, shipping is only around two per cent of our customers’ total cost. And yet unreliability has until now forced them to shape their production plans and inventory around it,” Maersk Line CEO, Eivind Kolding, was quoted saying.

As a general rule, shipping lines serving the Asia-North Europe trade are unreliable, in effect providing customers with an uncontrollable conveyor belt. About 40% per cent of all containers are late; 11% are more than two days late and even as much as 8% are more than eight days late.

“The lack of on-time delivery costs our customers large sums of money because it makes shipping more of an art than a science. Companies have to make up for an unreliable supply chain; they are forced to build a buffer in their supply chains and lose income when goods are not on time,” Kolding said.

Before Daily Maersk, Maersk Line was already best-in-class with 75% of its vessels on the Asia-North Europe trade arriving on time. But this was still not reliable enough for customers to plan their supply chains in an optimal manner.

Head of Logistics at the electronics giant Pegatron, Andy Tron, said: “Reliability should be a key performance indicator for all carriers. Today, 10% of all our shipments are more than two days late, so we are of course doubtful any carrier can provide guaranteed reliability. But if it is possible and if it is combined with more frequent departures to meet our production schedule, it would allow us to lower our inventories and significantly lower our costs.”

Source: Transport Weekly


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