Maersk compares current container booking practices to the worst dining experience ever

Maersk has uploaded a new video to its YouTube channel explaining the current complicated, unreliable nature of container shipping and how its recently unveiled Maersk Spot online booking service aims to make booking a box simple.

On June 25 the Danish carrier debuted Maersk Spot, an online product which provides customers a cargo loading guarantee at a fixed price upfront.

To get its message across, Maersk’s new video takes place at the Con & Tain Restaurant and asks viewers to imagine if going out to dine was like booking a container. Customers are greeted with overly complex menus, and when overbooking occurs diners are seen sitting on top of each other with one couple being rolled from the establishment and prices constantly changing and extra fees being added. Clientele are blindfolded as they pay their bills in the minute-long video.

The commercial closes with a message that it is time for change with details on how Maersk Spot features a loading guarantee, easy online booking and a fixed price at booking.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Goes both ways. Maersk can ‘state’ they will guarantee a fixed price for a guaranteed shipment and delivery, from point A to B.

    But that assumes no more “blank” sailings or a reasonable amount of delay for weather (what do they do now?). Owner of cargo misses terminal cut-off delivery, his box on the next ship and it’s his own fault. Maersk ship arrives late and sails late and then (obviously) delivers late…what then?

    I’m all for this, don’t get me wrong. I think shipping a box across the ocean SHOULD BE as easy as going online and buying a plane ticket, choosing my seat, even buying where I want to be on plane by price! Perhaps buying a “slot” on ship on top of pile (last loaded, first discharged) could have a premium price like premium seats on a plane???

    But fuel surcharge should be a given. We have that in Hawaii West Coast trade. Allows for more stable basic freight rates and gives ship owners opportunity to adjust for ever fluctuating prices of fuel (BOTH up and down).

    Otherwise, shippers will still see fluctuating freight rates if shipowners have no way of massaging the price of fuel that constantly changes over time (again, both up and down).

Back to top button