A.P. Moeller-Maersk (Maersk), the biggest container shipping line in the world by market share, says it has seen record use of its app throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Maersk said the demand was driven by customers relying on e-commerce to “navigate in a business environment which has seen record numbers of employees working from home”.
In total, it says demand for online business transactions has increased by nearly 90% in 2020.
“As the pandemic hit and more people began working from home, customers are seeing the convenience of going online to manage their logistics business using the Maersk mobile app,” said Carsten Frank Olsen, Head of eCommerce at Maersk.
“In the first five weeks of 2020, the app averaged 70,000 business transactions weekly. By mid-April, it had grown to 130,000 business transactions weekly, reflecting an 86% increase in this online remote usage tool.”
The surge of interest in the app usage reflects the container tracking, vessel schedule, live chat, instant rate quotes, booking of containers, cargo notifications, and Spot Rates activities that customers are relying on to run their business while away from the office.
Customers can use credit cards or a smart pay solution and have cargo released instantly.
Three new eCommerce digital solutions were added in March that improve the customer experience for import functionality and replace manual processes:
Maersk Delivery Order (MDO) enabling cargo release, the demurrage and Detention Calculator that answers storage fees and offers online payment for immediate release of full containers at the port or storage yard, and last free day for a container in storage – which is a feature designed for US-based customers.
These three key enablers, Maersk says, redefine the import self-service customer experience through better decision-making, visibility and speed.
Ecommerce is one of the key drivers of the ‘Amazon Effect’, which in turn has led to the concept of ‘port-centric logistics’, an idea that sees the port as a central supply chain hub instead of a convenient thoroughfare for goods.