Maersk lets customers track containers with IoT

6 December 2017

Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, is working to reshape supply chains through the internet of things.

Maersk Line is using the technology for its Remote Container Management (RCM) software, which allows customers to monitor and make decisions as their cargo moves. It also produces data that can be analysed and used to improve supply chains.

Mike Fang, vice president and head of Greater China, Maersk Line, said particularly for very sensitive, higher value refrigerated cargo, RCM significantly raises the total value proposition of refrigerated container trade.

Fang said digitalisation is transforming every industry and it will transform Maersk in the coming years.

“Physical assets are our core strength—together with data we have an enormous advantage for optimising them and to provide better products and service,” he said.

“The process of integrating digital into the business is an ongoing and multifaceted process. Overhaul of legacy IT systems will enable cumbersome, manual processes such as booking to be entirely digitalised.”

The global shipping industry has already started by equipping vessels, containers, ports and cranes with digital capabilities to cope with expect rise in trade volume, according to Maersk. 

“Data increasingly drives Maersk Line’s operational improvements and is beginning to be a source of customer and commercial insight, which will bring, among other things, a better customer experience, more proactive customer service, new products and new revenue streams,” Fang said. 

In November, Maersk launched a new pilot online platform, targeting selected spot customers buying ocean freight on selected routes and ports in China.

Maersk said the platform would support search of rates and schedules, shipment operations, shipping documentation and payments. Customers could also lock in the price of required cargo spaces by pre-paying a deposit.

Over the last two years, the company has launched pilot projects on third-party portals, including Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, OneTouch platform and Yun Qu Na, a B2B online platform.

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