How Maersk transformed the shipping industry by innovating with a human perspective

Overview

Maersk is the uncontested industry leader in shipping and logistics. It had recently embarked on a major transformation journey to become more agile, innovative and customer empowered. Although aiming to innovate to stay ahead of the competition, Maersk did not have the internal capabilities required to infuse their way of working with customer insights. 

 

Maersk saw that the whole concept of spot pricing in the shipping industry was broken and increasingly frustrating for customers and carriers alike. Maersk knew it wanted to come up with a solution jointly with their customers, but was unable to efficiently talk to them about the problem. This is where UserTribe could empower Maersk and facilitate a human perspective throughout the development process.

 

 

Business Objective

 

Throughout the shipping industry, spot booking is an option often utilised by smaller businesses with irregular shipping needs who cannot or won’t make a contract with a shipping (logistics) provider. Shipping is then done on a need basis: this leads to several issues for logistics providers and their customers alike. 

 

First, the entire process relies upon a very manual, time-consuming often error-prone back and forth email or phone exchange.

 

Second, while customers get a quote upon booking cargo space, the actual price they end up paying can be (very) different – hence lack of transparency, control or even trust.

 

Furthermore, the customer could never be sure that the cargo will be delivered with the ship they booked due to an industry-wide overbooking practice on the carrier side and as such could face delays from a few days to several weeks. 

 

Customers would book their cargo with several different providers at a time to reduce the risk of delays due to overbooking. When the time came to hand over cargo, customers would simply cancel the rest of their ‘back up’ bookings with little to no penalty involved. The carriers and customers were therefore locked in a vicious cycle of no transparency and high insecurity – not to mention a lot of money wasted on both sides.

 

 

Solution

 

UserTribe was deployed in Maersk processes, enabling constant learning about customers’ core needs. It became apparent that if providers imposed penalties on themselves, customers would be willing to go with terms limiting their own freedom as well.

 

Product

Using these insights, UserTribe led the charge to determine not only what the overall concept around Maersk Spot should look like but everything down to specific contract terms and pricing was tested and validated by UserTribe. The overarching theme was to create trust between customers and Maersk and thereby decrease the tendency for overbooking and facilitate transparency throughout the process.

 

Digital

Concurrently, UserTribe and Maersk would begin work on developing the digital offering of the Spot App. In everything from the concept of the app to testing specific features, UserTribe integrated the voice of the customer into the development process. Through several iterations, UserTribe helped the Maersk team develop the best possible user experience for potential Spot customers online.

 

Marketing

Finally, the question was how to best market this new and groundbreaking initiative. UserTribe explored how Maersk would best explain the concept and all its benefits in the most simple and intuitive way possible. From the customers’ understanding of the overall concept down to testing the specific campaign, scripts and videos, UserTribe was facilitating every step of the process.

Result

By plugging UserTribe into their whole product development cycle, Maersk was able to create an innovative industry-defining product that within 6 months of launching conquered 25% market share of total short-term bookings and generated a 75% reduction in overbookings. Maersk Spot sets new standards for how shippers interact with vendors and is a perfect example of what happens when you adopt a human-centred focus throughout the organisation and the benefits that come with it.

Result

By plugging UserTribe into their whole product development cycle, Maersk was able to create an innovative industry-defining product that within 6 months of launching conquered 25% market share of total short-term bookings and generated a 75% reduction in overbookings. Maersk Spot sets new standards for how shippers interact with vendors and is a perfect example of what happens when you adopt a human-centred focus throughout the organisation and the benefits that come with it.

Do you want to hear more?
Contact VP of Business Development
Michael Mortensen
+45 77 34 86 85 or mim@usertribe.com

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