Maersk Line is planning to charge its customers a fee for booked containers that fail to appear at the port of departure, and plans to compensate customers for booked containers that it fails to load on departing ships, the carrier said.
Maersk Line CEO Eivind Kolding addressed the issue of fees for no-show and rolled containers in a speech he gave at the time he presented his manifesto on June 7 calling for radical changes in the way the container industry conducts business.
“Right now we know that 30 percent of the containers that are booked with us do not turn up. That’s 30 percent no-shows,” he said in an interview with the Journal of Commerce on June 13. “That’s the average. So there is something for us to do in the industry to take the waste out.”
Kolding said Maersk will start to try to alter no-show behavior by charging what it calls a “load protection fee.”
“If we do not get the container on board, we will pay the customer. If the customer does not show up with the container, they will pay us, so we can get a behavioral discipline in the industry,” Kolding said.
The “load protection fee” will be $100 per dry container and $500 per reefer container for containers that fail to show up in time for a departing vessels, according to an interview with Maersk Line’s Senior Director for Charge Management, Network and Product, John Nielsen, by International Freight Weekly.
Nielsen told IFW that Maersk is prepared to pay compensation of the same amounts if Maersk cannot pick up shipment because of overbooking, operational constraints or equipment shortages.
He said there would be a window to allow customers to cancel or change a booking, with the charge implemented if the cancellation happened with less than seven days’ notice before vessel.
The Danish carrier plans to put a system of fees for no-show containers and rolled containers into effect after a year of testing the scheme in the U.S. and other markets. In the U.S. it charged a nominal $10 per no-show containers during the test it conducted last year.
Kolding also worries about the failure of its shipping customers to meet their contracted commitments of cargo volumes during the year.
“If we just take our year-to-date figures, only 41 percent of customers have delivered 100 percent or more of their commitments. If we allow for a little bit of margin, let’s say 10 percent variation, let’s say 90 percent fulfillment is OK. Only 56 percent of the customers have done that. Still 44 percent of our customers have delivered even 90 percent of what they have promised,” Kolding said.
“That’s another waste we need to address, “ he said.