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Ocean Carriers Launch Major Digital Initiatives to Modernize Supply Chains

The ocean freight sector is taking significant steps to digitize its operations and supply chain, with major carriers A.P. Moller – Maersk and CMA CGM introducing new initiatives.

Aiming to provide simple solutions to diverse controls and customs regulations in international trade, Maersk has launched the Customs Clearance online shipping management platform in seven European countries–Germany, France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland, the U.K. and Spain–with the goal of expanding this offering across the world by the end of 2019.

“This new one-stop-shop allows us to timely and efficiently handle export and import declarations for our customers,” Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said. “The solution provides downstream benefits of full governance and compliance, eliminates the need to provide a quote as pricing is displayed online, saving three to five minutes per quote.”

Clerc noted that the platform can reduce the number of intermediaries for shippers to one from an average three or four, as well as paperwork that subsequently decreases the time spent on transactional procedures. The new functionality covers all types of cargo for all Maersk brands.

CMA CGM Group’s new entry into digitization is the launch of CMA CGM eSolutions, a digital eco-system comprising an online agency and other e-commerce channels such as Electronic Data Interchanges (EDI) and Application Programing Interfaces (API) that allow the digital transmission of relevant information and data between CMA CGM and its customers.

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The cargo carrier noted that most of its bookings are made through its e-commerce solutions, many via the company’s web platform. With CMA CGM eSolutions, customers can choose to have a fully digital experience when they choose CMA CGM to transport their goods.

CMA CGM has previously developed a set of digital solutions such as schedule research, quotation request, booking, shipping instructions, documentation, shipping dashboard and tracking. Taking that a step further, eSolutions will include ePricing, giving customer’s real time access to their rates and instant spot quotation; eBooking, offering booking in a simplified, more intuitive and autocomplete format; fully digital bill of lading; eTracking for a visualization of customer’s cargo position at sea on a map with updated time of arrival; ePayment for freight invoice online payment, and eCharges, fgiving live cost estimation.

As part of its eSolutions, CMA CGM will now offer priority boarding to its customers using its digital platform. First offered by CMA CGM from India to Europe, priority boarding will be eventually rolled out to other countries and carriers within the CMA CGM Group. The company said more features will be launched in the coming months.