What steps do you think Maersk Line and MSC can take to improve their reputations with shippers?

Maersk Line Ship BowOver on Linkedin at the Maersk Line sponsored Shipping Circle Forum, moderator Jonathan Wichmann asked for comments in response to a recent customer sentiment survey conducted by Containerisation International. Maersk and MSC both received relatively low scores in the survey.

Here are my comments.

From my experiences outside containerized shipping, survey results commissioned by and published in a trade magazine are generally indicative but not conclusive. I would also speculate that in most trade publication surveys the smaller customers are the outliers but, because there are more small customer responses, the survey scores get skewed to the smaller customer responses.

Should Maersk Line or MSC be concerned with the CI survey results? Certainly. Should Maersk or MSC consider material investments in trying to change the outcome of next year’s CI survey? No. The CI survey results are unlikely to change unless Maersk and MSC can convince CI to change their survey methodology and add weighting that reflects customer size or volume.

Assuming Maersk Line is already using sentiment and listening applications like Salesforce Radian6 and has real-time internal customer sentiment/feedback systems, efforts to improve customer sentiment should be based on the “big” data vs. anecdotal data from a single trade publication survey that favors outliers.  [Read more...]

Only 215M of $1.2B in Haiti Earthquake Aid Spent on Permanent Housing

The New York Times reported today on the lack of progress in Haiti in finding an affordable and effective way to provide decent, permanent housing to victims of the 2010 earthquake.

The Caracol project is spending $31,400 per new home in Haiti in conjunction with a major economic development project. Humanitarian groups think basic housing requirements in Haiti could be met for $6,000 per home.

The issues blocking new housing for Haiti vary, but include:

- lack of local involvement in designing a solution that fits culture, environment and ecosystem (vs. apply western norms)

- housing lacks the ribbon cutting cachet of new roads and big industrial or agricultural projects

- lousy or non-existant management of resources earmarked for housing.

Could housing based on shipping containers be part of the solution? Probably. But only if the container re-use design and ecosystem made sense to Haitians and the resource management system was effective.

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