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Maersk-Alibaba Tie-up A Sign Of Changing Times
Kinghood International Logistics Inc | Updated: Jan 13, 2017

Danish shipping company Maersk Line and Chinese e-commerce marketplace Alibaba teamed up to provide sellers direct bookings with the container line, marking another development in the rapidly changing ocean freight procurement space.

Maersk Line has partnered with the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to provide a direct booking link for shippers using Alibaba’s platform, Business Insider reported.

It’s part of a growing trend of carriers seeking to more directly control sales with smaller and mid-size shippers, business they have traditionally ceded to capacity resellers and service providers.

It also continues a trend of Alibaba and Amazon yearning to grow beyond being mere facilitators of product transactions and into providers of direct logistics functions tied to those transactions.

Lars Jensen, chief executive officer of SeaIntelligence Consulting, told American Shipper Tuesday that he sees carriers more than ever focused on automation of the front-end of the booking process, whereas they have previously been focused on technology that powers the customer service elements of their business (in other words, the processes that occur after the booking has taken place).

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