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Maersk Line nominated for Environment Award at Lloyd’s List Global Award 2015

Maersk Line has raised the bar for energy efficiency, setting a bold new target of reducing CO2 emissions per container moved by 60% by 2020. The impact of this new target will be a sustained decoupling of economic growth from CO2 emissions. In effect, a license to grow our business – and our customers’ businesses – in years to come. 

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Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company, known for reliable, flexible and eco-efficient services. Providing ocean transportation in all parts of the world, it serves customers through 374 offices in 116 countries, employs 7,100 seafarers and 25,500 land-based employees and operates 610 container vessels. As the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk Line’s role in enabling global trade and development is our most significant contribution to the world. Much of the goods traded throughout the world see the inside of one of our containers. Not only do we power some of the world’s largest ships – we also fuel the growth ambitions of businesses and individuals all over our planet.

Maersk Line dedicated to continuously raising industry standards and to enabling global trade and economic development in the most sustainable manner possible.

One of the ways to do this is to decouple growth from resource consumption. For several years now, Maersk Line has driven energy efficiency improvements across the company, pioneering initiatives ranging from network design and speed optimization to technical upgrades and the deployment of new and more efficient ships in our network, such as our Triple-E vessels.

In recognition of these achievements, in 2014 we set ourselves a bold target. We will reduce CO2 emissions per container moved by 60% by 2020. The impact of this new target is a sustained decoupling of economic growth from CO2 emissions. In effect, a license to grow our business – and our customers’ businesses – in years to come. Innovation will be key to delivering the new CO2 target, including pioneering fleet and network innovation beyond what can be reasonably fathomed today, and this is why the entire organization is rallying to accelerate progress for tomorrow.

The winners will be announced on October 1 with the ceremony being held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Maersk Line nominated for Lloyd’s List ‘Company of the Year’ award

Maersk Line has been nominated for ‘Company of the Year’ at the prestigious Lloyd’s List 2015 awards. Maersk Line’s continued focus on innovation and strong performance in the face of the industry challenges has been well recognized.  The nomination also stands testimony to the company’s efforts in delivering the basics: as well as having some of the most reliable services available, its commitment to delivering an excellent customer experience continued in the evolution of its Customer Charter and MyMaerskLine.

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Maersk Line delivered a US $2.3 billion profit for 2014, 55% up on 2013’s result. This was achieved despite rates decreasing by 1.6%, and was delivered through stronger than expected volumes and lower unit costs (driven through network optimisation and reducing operating costs). The company’s strategy remains to grow with the market.

Maersk Line’s CEO Soren Skou summarised the company’s position and focus in the 2014 results statement: “Our financials are strong and our strategy is working. But we cannot rest on our laurels. We do business in a highly competitive industry with over-capacity. We must remain focused and continue to defend our market position with cost leadership and improved products for our customers.”

This result was supported by a number of innovations. In July 2014 Maersk Line announced 2M with MSC, reacting quickly to the cancellation of P3. The East-West network, Maersk Line’s offer incorporating 2M, is designed to be reliable, responsible, direct and comprehensive. At a time when the East-West trades are losing money, the likes of 2M allow carriers to deliver a quality, sustainable service, in turn allowing customers to take a longer view of their supply chains.

In technology MyMaerskLine sets the benchmark for online booking platforms, with 80% of all on-line bookings confirmed within 20 minutes. This frees up the frontline customer service teams to offer a deeper, more personnel level of service to customers.

Underpinning Maersk Line’s performance and innovations is the Customer Charter, its commitment to a standard level of service. Based on what customers consider constitutes excellent customer service, the Charter aims to improve accuracy and turn time for customers. In 2014, the Charter was rolled out to individual customers to give them personalised data and allow them to have a clear picture of the service they were receiving from Maersk Line.

Ultimately all these innovations point to one thing – delivering a quality, sustainable service for Maersk Line’s customers.

The winners will be announced on October 1 with the ceremony being held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Maersk Batur saves fishermen lost at sea

Attacked by pirates, three South American fishermen were left drifting for two weeks in the Pacific Ocean. They were rescued by the Maersk Batur in a challenging operation that required great precision and teamwork.

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On 1 June, three fishermen set out from their hometown of Cabo de San Lorenzo, Ecuador. Jamil Caicedo (from Colombia) and Carlos Meza and Jorge Ayosa (both from Equador) are all in their twenties. The trio had done the trip a few times before and their skiff was carrying enough fuel, water and food for the return journey to Malpelo.

Two days into their journey, disaster struck. Late in the evening on 3 June the little group was attacked by a gang of heavily armed pirates who callously robbed them of both outboard motors and all fuel supplies.

Left with no means to navigate or communicate, it was a hopeless situation as the skiff drifted farther and farther into the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. In the days that followed, Jamil, Carlos and Jorge tried to ration their limited provisions. They kept fishing and eating their catch, but with no rain to replenish their lifesaving water supplies, they knew that time was running out.

Drifted 570 miles

Twelve days had passed since the pirate attack, and the skiff had drifted nearly 570 nautical miles in open sea. Not a single vessel had been sighted, and water supplies were running disastrously low. On the Maersk Batur, 15 June was a typical Monday morning. The container vessel was just north of the Galapagos Islands, having departed Balboa, Panama two days earlier for its southbound voyage to Auckland, New Zealand.

At 11.10 am, Captain R. Morrison received a call from the bridge; the officer on watch had spotted a small boat apparently in difficulty.

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Fighting back tears, Jamil explains the mixture of panic and relief he and his two friends felt when they first saw the Maersk Batur in the distant horizon. “We kept waving our arms and flags, anything we could wave, while hoping and praying that the ship would see us,” he says.

All hands on deck

Fortunately, the officer on the bridge took the time to study the situation closely, and realising that all did not appear well, he initiated an immediate rescue operation. All officers and crew reacted swiftly and efficiently to carry out the delicate and precise manoeuvring required to position the vessel safely alongside the small boat. The exhausted men below helped secure their skiff with the ropes and lines thrown to them, and after less than an hour they were able to climb up the ladder to safety.

Reflecting on the experience, Captain Morrison is very pleased with how all officers and crew reacted as a ‘competent single team’. “It seems more than luck that those young men were close to our track in daylight hours and it was indeed very gratifying to see the skills we practice in our regular drill exercises being put to such good use,” he says.

Strong faith despite uncertain future

Safely on board the Maersk Batur, the exhausted men were grateful to receive a good meal and plenty of well-deserved rest. Their worst nightmare was finally over and they were able to contact their families and give them the good news that they would be returning home safe and sound.

When the vessel arrived in Auckland on 30 June, local Maersk Line staff was able to meet the three men before their flight back to Ecuador.

By then, Jamil, Carlos and Jorge had had plenty of time to reflect on their situation. They were mostly looking forward to being reunited with their young children and telling everyone at home their amazing tale of survival.

Author: Tine Westergaard Jensen

Deja vu as Maersk Regensburg picks up 427 migrants

Ten months after its previous rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea, Maersk Regensburg was at the centre of action again recently. On the evening of 9 April the Maersk Regensburg left Al Khoms in Libya for the 20-hour sea passage to Sfax, Tunisia. In circumstances almost exactly similar to the journey of 6-7 June 2014, the vessel was once again involved in a migrant rescue situation off the Libyan coast.

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Sea conditions were flat calm, and the next day the vessel was requested to divert to assist with a search and rescue incident. Based on previous experience and lessons learned, the captain briefed the crew to make sure they could handle the situation well.

Taking 427 migrants on board

An Italian coastguard launch performed four transfers of migrants, adding a tally of 427 persons to the Maersk Regensburg, comprising 324 men, 94 women and 9 children.

“Using tactics employed last year, we segregated women and children to the starboard aft, men to port and starboard forward areas, then made medical assessments as best we could,” says Captain Andrew Lewington.

​Some medical issues were taken care of by a doctor from the naval vessel, but fortunately no ailments required immediate evacuation, he adds. Catering staff were busy preparing soup and this was dispensed along with water to the migrants throughout the evening.

The following day the crew managed to supply all of the migrants with three meals, including 700 eggs and 500 sausages for breakfast, and chicken, rice and pizza for lunch and dinner. On the morning of 12 April a flotilla of small launched arrived alongside to start disembarking the migrants, and at 12 noon the vessel could resume its passage.

Reflecting on the experience, Captain Lewington says: “Once again, a very long and demanding three days, however my previous experiences greatly assisted us. Throughout this time, the 19 crew of the Maersk Regensburg acted with great professionalism, showing compassion when required.

“They served the vessel and Maersk Line commendably and I as Captain am again proud of their achievements and of the willingness shown throughout.”

Maersk Line India – Getting closer to customers

Maersk Line recently incorporated a few differentiators for the customer service offering that add value to our customer’s business and help in identification of mutual business solutions and opportunities. The Customer CARE program, continuous improvements to E-Commerce offerings and Customer Charter are some of the services that are driving Maersk Line’s customer satisfaction. When it comes to business in India, the key to a winning customer service strategy lies in delivering on these initiatives along with adding more value to it by finding unique solutions to make the local customer interaction and services world-class.

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Talking more about the local advantage that Maersk Line India offers to the customers, Rajesh Narayan, Head of Customer Service, India shares a few insights, “Good customer service is all about being there for your customers. Proactive communication, fast & efficient resolution of issues – even predicating and addressing them before they impact our customers, and providing utmost empathy & ownership   in the customers’ interactions with Maersk Line goes a long way in ensuring that we build a strong relationship with our customers   We want to make it easy for our customers to work with us and that’s what  our CARE Program, E-Commerce solutions and  together with the Customer Charter focuses on.”

At Maersk Line India, there are a few additional steps taken to cater to the large customer base locally. One of the key advantages with Maersk Line India includes a bi-monthly customer engagement program that provides end-to-end  process orientation for our  customers. Through this program, we aim to  provide ease of business for customers and it’s also  a platform for our customers to have their concerns addressed. So basically this gets  our customers familiarized with Maersk Line ecosystem and in turn makes their interactions easier and better.

More on the localized advantages in customer service, Maersk Line India provides the CMS (Cash Management System) in numerous locations across India. These together with Electronic Delivery Order and E-Payment facilities, makes it convenient for our customers to make easy payments and take Delivery Orders for cargo clearance. Another challenge that’s been addressed by the team in India is that of proactive customer communication. It’s often difficult to push information seamlessly to a large customer base. The solution to the same is taken forward through simple tools like SMS notifications. Proactive SMS alerts are sent out  to customers for regular updates like container yard status,  Vessel Berthing etc. That way our customers are well informed about  any changes and don’t face any confusion and ambiguity. Similarly, customers are provided with automated responses to generic queries like the shipment process information via SMS communication. This way,  customers  get information without really having to get in touch with a customer care executive  and thereby saving them time and efforts.

For every market it’s essential to identify  such local challenges and provide the extended support to customers accordingly. The local customer service differentiators adopted by Maersk Line India thus add significant ease of business  to the customers’ supply chain.