Maersk has become the first carrier to launch an instant booking confirmation for containers, the company describing it as a “milestone”.

According to the carrier, the move will do away with waiting times of up to two hours associated with its previous system.

Chief commercial officer Vincent Clerc said: “We are now making it as easy for our customers to book a container as booking a flight ticket.

“Instant booking confirmation makes it faster, easier and simpler for our customers to interact with Maersk.

“It is a milestone for the entire industry and a concrete example of how we are bringing our strategy to life and improve the customer experience through seamless digital offerings.”

The system provides full visibility on sailings and the available space, alongside a list of depots with empties to choose from.

The carrier said it would be releasing an online booking tool via its app. Head of customer experience and service Sonny Dahl said: “Maersk operates in several markets where mobile phones make up the primary working tool for the workforce.

“Instant booking confirmation straight from the mobile phone will be a huge improvement for our customers’ supply chain managers – it will further enable trade in these markets.”

In the past, some 10% of all bookings placed in Maersk’s systems were either rejected or placed on an alternative sailing.

This, the carrier said, resulted in customer follow-ups, which accounted for around 15% of all Maersk customer service calls, and about 200,000 emails a month.

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