Maersk Line in Vietnam leads the local industry on e-saviness. General Director Bich Nyugen believes that increasing productivity through technological transfer for companies is a major way of boosting Vietnam’s competitiveness.
Each day, as thousands of containers are shipped back and forth by Maersk Line between Vietnam and the world, an unseen and even larger number of transactions are happening online. From documents to invoices and customs declarations, the ‘e-paperwork’ is endless.
But thanks to automated systems, acuracy, transparency and visbility of data can now be done in less than ten minutes (a booking that previously would have taken two hours). APL Logistics is a client of Maersk Line in Vietnam, and Export Team Leader Nguyen Francra Ninh says that she remembered that it took around two working hours or more to receive booking confirmation last year.
“Now it’s just five minutes for booking confirmation or 30 minutes at most,” Nguyen Francra Ninh says.
Last year, Maersk Line Vietnam shipped 9,412 FEU (forty-foot equivalent units) for this client.
In 2002, Maersk Line Vietnam began streamlining its e-booking, e-documentation, e-tracking and most other customer transactions. Paperless transactions have allowed for a move away from complex manual processes, focusing instead on improving customer experience. Maersk Line also recently conducted a local customer survey, which found that seven out of ten clients strongly believe that e-commerce is important to their businesses.
General Director of Maersk Line Vietnam and Cambodia, Bich Nguen, says Maersk saw the trend towards e-solutions and its sweeping benefits many years ago.
”And we knew it would transform not just the shipping industry, but also the business world, which is why we stayed ahead of the game with company-wide e-solutions practices before any of our competitors.”
A trend towards e-solutions
Vietnam’s internet penetration is high, relative to its urban population. Of Vietnam’s 90 million population, 36% use the Internet, and 32% live in urban areas. In line with these demographics are the findings of the Vietnam E-commerce Report, which found that the country’s e-commerce industry is booming, where 100% of business and enterprise survey respondents use Internet and email for work, and 65% had specialised e-commerce staff.
What all this implies for Maersk Line is that clients with local offices here are well aware of its competitive edge when it comes to e-solutions offered in its services.
Nguyen Trang from Panalpina’s Europe documentation team for the European sector says: “It’s very impressive to see the improvement that Maersk Line has had in sending the bill draft to us, due to their faster system. It takes just around one hour, a very far cry from other carriers that require about half a day to do the same.”
“This fast service provides our customers with extra time to settle other matters pertaining to their shipments,” Trang adds.
Maersk Line’s Bich Nguyen says: “E- solutions mean less time, fewer mistakes and less, if not zero, additional costs being incurred due to documentation errors. As Vietnam seeks to compete in the world economy and trade in higher value-added goods under just-in-time productions, transaction speed and reliability of service will be key.”
She sums up as follows: “For businesses on the whole, e-solutions mean more opportunities, including increased productivity and savings, thereby attracting more investments. This is an exciting time for Vietnam if we focus on the right methods for driving competitiveness.”
By Tan Ti Hui for the Maersk Post