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Maersk joins Loadsmart in strategy to smoothen US port flow
Maersk has joined digital freight technology company Loadsmart on a major initiative to improve the flow of freight through American ports.
Ports America, the largest terminal operator and stevedore in the U.S., joins the world's largest container ship and supply vessel operator's investment arm Maersk Growth as an investor.
The investment will be leveraged for Loadsmart's new Smart Drayage initiative, helping industry participants rethink the flow of shipping containers through marine terminals and develop a free-flow model to accelerate the transit of goods through the largest ports in America.
"The free-flow model moves the industry from container-specific to container-agnostic. It means that truck drivers will be given the best container available when they arrive at the port, having pre-agreed with a specific mileage band trip" said Ricardo Salgado, CEO and co-founder of Loadsmart.
He added: "As a result, we project that truck drivers will be able to reduce their time to get in and out of the port by at least 25%. At the same time, we estimate that port operators will be able to reduce container shuffles by at least 50%, which is a huge efficiency gain."
Recent research shows that there are more than 60 million drayage movements each year in North America, representing a US$50 billion plus market with ports contributing 26% to the U.S. gross domestic product.
Yet, due to lack of efficiency and transparency, 15 million man-hours and 2.3 billion gallons of fuel are wasted due to trucker congestion at ports.
Maersk alone moves around 13 million containers a year, or around 15% of the world's container market. Ports America operates 33 port terminals in 22 cities in the U.S. and moves around 6.7 million containers in and out of the country.
"At Maersk Growth we want to define the future of trade," said Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth.
"From the onset, we recognized the synergies between Maersk and Loadsmart and our joint opportunity to drive change through technology. Our partnership will increase inland business opportunities to add value to our clients."
As part of the new drayage initiative, Loadsmart will leverage the data, expertise and industry knowledge of major industry players.