Re-inventing Global Container Sales

Signifly and Maersk partnered to re-invent container sales with the first-ever online container sales platform. The goal is to make used containers easily available to businesses around the world, effectively and at an unprecedented speed. Work continues to improve the platform and its capabilities, and the solution is already generating substantial revenue and gaining recognition from clients, staff and industry peers.

Client:
Maersk Line
Partnership lead:
Michael Valentin
Timespan:
Jan '17 - Jan '18
Key focus:
Growth and new target group

Effective process

7 months from contract to launch.

Fast fulfilment

Cut fulfilment lead time by > 60%.

Global

Now selling in 50+ countries.

Extensive value

topping 100 mDKK of yearly revenue.

Increased volume of retired containers

When containers are no longer fit for shipping or needed in the fleet, they can be sold off for new purposes. Reuse is great for the environment, but also good business for Maersk. With an increasing number of containers retiring, Maersk had to find a way to handle growing freight volumes. New customer segments became crucial, but were not easily accommodated via previous manual structures. So, a strategy to leverage digital solutions was devised instead.

Digital solution as a market differentiator

The online container sales platform is an important tool and soon became an essential market differentiator.

Buyer empowerment – with real-time overview of global inventory, fair public rates and the ability to claim units through online ordering – has played an important role in attracting new clients and retaining existing ones. Other players have since copied the Maersk model, but with both size and a first-mover advantage, Maersk has secured a strong position in the market.

Facilitating an effective sales process

With a shared online platform, processes can be streamlined and automated. Internal processes are faster, and sales staff can more easily cover for each other. This effective process benefits clients and gives Maersk’s offerings a competitive edge.

Time-to-market was of the essence in gaining first-mover advantage and collecting valuable insights early.

Rapid MVP and iterations

Within only a month a prototype was created and tested with selected clients as well as with internal stakeholders.

After several refinements the first MVP was built, and just 7 months after the first sketches we launched a first-of-its-kind product to the public, for sale online in 24 countries.

The MVP had several problems, but allowed us to gain insights under realistic conditions and forced us to iterate the product swiftly and thus increase its usability.

Global collaboration as a key component

Including the global team was key to the project’s success. Several workshops and ongoing communication brought local insights to the ideation process and helped set priorities on the basis of input and feedback from sales staff, the key system users and the team of assistants handling customer service inquiries. Forging close, early ties between users and the design/development team has generated fast mechanisms for problem-solving and provided access to extremely valuable insights.

Explaining a genuine concept

Communication was another important aspect of launching this first-of-its-kind project.

To gain traction, we co-created an introductory video explaining the basic principles for buying containers online as well as the positive impact reuse has on our planet. The video is used internally and externally to quickly and easily explain online container sales the Maersk way.

Explainer video conveying the concept

Leveraging the power of structured sales data

When structured data about sales and client behaviour is collected over a long period of time, it becomes a valuable asset in future pricing, marketing and segmentation strategies. Maersk has gained overview via a shared admin panel and is now working to develop new ways of using the data to further automate inventory and pricing optimization.

Adding new differentiating features

When structured data about sales and client behaviour is collected over a long period of time, it becomes a valuable asset in future pricing, marketing and segmentation strategies. Maersk has gained overview via a shared admin panel and is now working to develop new ways of using the data to further automate inventory and pricing optimization.