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CMA CGM and Alibaba ink agreement for direct online booking from China

CMA CGM has joined Maersk Line in teaming up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to provide online booking for shipments.

The French line said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Alibaba on Tuesday in Hangzhou to cooperate in the digital area.

As with Maersk, CMA CGM is seeking to cooperate with Alibaba to provide online booking services via its OneTouch platform. The proposal under the MoU is to provide a direct online booking platform for Chinese customers shipments from China on the CMA CGM MEX 1 service to the Mediterranean and the BEX service to the Adriatic.

On the MEX 1 service customers would be able to book direct on the Alibaba platform for shipments Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo and Yantian with discharge at West Mediterranean base ports as Barcelona and Valencia.

For the BEX the proposed load ports Shanghai, Ningbo and Chiwan and discharge in Adriatic base ports such as Rijeka, Koper, Trieste and Venice.

Such a service would essentially bypass freight forwarders allowing direct online booking, in common with disruptive developments seen in many other industries in recent years.

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