Maersk Line’s global customers are now able to coordinate all of their container transportation activities through GT Nexus, the cloud-based software provider that links shippers, logistics providers and ocean and surface carriers.
Over the last three months, Maersk Line has integrated its back-office systems with the GT Nexus cloud supply chain platform, where shippers that use it can coordinate the booking, tracking and payment for the transport of containers with their supply chain partners around the globe.
The decision by one of the founding carrier members of the competing e-portal, INTTRA, marks a significant shift in its ability to collaborate electronically with its customers and third-party logistics providers, as well as other members of the supply chain.
It follows up on the intention voiced by former Maersk CEO Eivind Kolding to make booking a container with it as easy as buying a book on Amazon.com.
“It will allow all of our customers to transact with Maersk much more effectively electronically for booking and shipping instructions,” said John Urban, president and co-founder of GT Nexus. “We’ve always had connectivity to Maersk for container status events to drive visibility. Their decision to become a member of GT Nexus will enable us to strengthen and harden those electronic integrations.”
Danny Danford, head of eBusiness Integration Solutions at Maersk Line, said a number of customers use GT Nexus as their core supply chain operating platform, and, “We are able to support them by being a certified carrier on that network.”
By integrating its back-office IT systems with GT Nexus, Maersk enables customers to book containers and shipping instructions directly with it or through 3PLs such as DHL and UPS that have embedded their supply chain offerings in the cloud platform.
The visibility across the whole platform is enhanced as they move into giving shipping instructions. Now shippers can tie that whole document process into their letters of credit or their payment processes with their banks, because shipping instructions are key documents in getting trade finance. “They get a better result in managing not just their physical supply chain but their financial supply chain as well,” Urban said.
The GT Nexus platform also gives Maersk shippers a strategic overview of their transactions. “When you begin to look at automating booking and shipping instructions, they become very strategic in those supply chain deployments, because they allow you to take visibility all the way back to the planning stage when you are just booking the shipment as opposed to waiting for it to hit the water,” Urban said. “It provides for a lot more knowledge about how your supply chain is operating.”