Maersk introduces new virtual assistant

Maersk introduces new virtual assistant
Captain Peter engages with the customer from end to end in the supply chain

Maersk has planned to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by introducing a virtual assistant, named Captain Peter, which is designed to assist customers along the journey of their cargo.

A group of select customers have been testing technical improvements that aim to simplify the processes integrated into the RCM platform, set to be released in the first half of 2019.

To begin with, Captain Peter will send up-to-date information via the customer’s preferred channel, for example SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey.

Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, head of global reefer management at Maersk, said: “Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paperwork and difficult processes in global trade.

“Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain.”

If the shipment is delayed or any deviations have been observed, the virtual assistant will notify the customer as well as checking on its state and giving an update once the container arrives at its destination.

In the future, Captain Peter is planned to send information to customers based upon their specific needs.

Zerlang Karlsen added: “With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped.”

The RCM makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer and in the event of issues, customers can alert suppliers or have the shipment checked by local surveyors.

Maersk launched the technology in September 2017 and it aims to offer transparency on information from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology.

At present, 2,300 customers have signed up for the solution which translates to over 70% of the shipping line’s reefer volume.