A big impact from the start
Published on 08 February 2016
Alejandra Ospina realised there could be a digital solution for D&D charges. Just five weeks later, Damcoʼs very first app – which automatically calculates D&D costs – was born.
As a new recruit to Damcoʼs International Graduate Programme in Lima, Peru, Alejandra Ospina hit upon an idea that could potentially save millions every year.
As part of the programme, the graduates were challenged to come up with a new business app. Ospina and her team decided to tackle the problem of Detention & Demurrage (D&D) – charges levied by ports on containers left there too long or not returned in time.
“D&D is a major problem for Damco globally,” says Ospina. “In the US alone in 2015, 35% of all shipments were loss making due to D&D charges. I realised the solution could be a digital one.”
Ospina is one in a long line of talented graduates – including Group CEO Søren Skou – who have made their mark on Maersk over the years. The company has a tradition of providing on-the-job training for newcomers, starting from the very first training programme launched in the 1950s, followed by the Maersk International Shipping Education (MISE) in the 1990s, through to the International Graduate Programmes in Damco and Maersk Line.
Now, a new programme, Go with Maersk, has been launched to give graduates an overview of the entire global supply chain – including shipping, logistics and freight forwarding.
I really enjoy devising solutions to problems. Thatʼs why logistics appealed to me – thereʼs always a new way to optimise processes.ALEJANDRA OSPINA, DAMCO GRADUATE
“Go with Maersk builds on a historic tradition of investing in young talent at Maersk,” says Henriette Thygesen, a MISE alumna and today CEO of Svitzer.
“Maersk has a great value proposition and a history of attracting the best graduates. Working for Maersk means joining an international, multi-cultural and values-driven company that invests in our people.”
Finding the solutions
24-year old Ospina is from Colombia, where she studied industrial and environmental engineering. She moved to Panama to pursue a career in finance, but soon realised she was more suited to the challenges of the logistics industry.
“I really enjoy devising solutions to problems. Thatʼs why logistics appealed to me – thereʼs always a new way to optimise processes,” she says.
The D&D app idea was seized upon by the IT department who immediately set to work developing it, and just five weeks later Damcoʼs very first app – a simple tool that automatically calculates D&D costs based on contractual information – was born.
Ospina flew to Charlotte in the US to meet the developers and present the product to customers, who loved the idea. The app will now be released globally to the market, securing Damcoʼs position as a digital frontrunner in the logistics industry and potentially saving millions in D&D costs every year.
“Technological advances are driving huge changes in the way we do business, so this is an exciting industry to be in right now,” says Ospina.
The best possible start
Daniel Wilson, who joined the Maersk Line Graduate Programme after completing his Master of Science in Auckland, was also attracted by the fast-paced changes in the industry today. “Thereʼs a big push towards new technologies and new ways of doing things. Being in the vanguard of that, solving the challenges of today as well as the challenges of tomorrow, is what attracted me to Maersk,” says Wilson.
After working in customer services dealing with New Zealandʼs apple exporters, Wilson was transferred to a role managing the account for Kotahi, the countryʼs leading freight and logistics company.
Thereʼs a big push towards new technologies and new ways of doing things. Being in the vanguard of that, solving the challenges of today as well as the challenges of tomorrow, is what attracted me to Maersk.DANIEL WILSON, MAERSK LINE GRADUATE
The Kotahi contract, covering a million containers over 10 years, is the biggest deal ever signed by Maersk Line, and represents a new model of long-term collaboration between shipping line and customer, which Wilson believes could be replicated around the world.
“Deals like this allow us to plan ahead in ways not otherwise possible. Part of my job is to go through the network with a fine toothcomb, find any problems and come up with a solution. Itʼs very satisfying to see how something you do can have a material impact on our business.”
For Wilson, joining Maersk Lineʼs graduate programme has been the best possible start to his career in shipping. In January he moved to Hong Kong to take on the role of Key Client Manager for Asia Pacific, fulfilling his wish to work overseas.
“No two days are the same. If something happens in New Zealand such as bad weather in a port, or an earthquake, it throws up challenges that you have to solve,” Wilson says. “I have travelled more in the last two years than at any other time in my life and been exposed to all sorts of incredible people. Itʼs been the best possible start to a career.”
Take the fast-track to the top with Go with Maersk
Go with Maersk aims to attract the worldʼs best graduates to Transport & Logistics with the tagline “Go with your passion. Move the world.” Taking the best of the current graduate programmes in Maersk Line and Damco, Go with Maersk supports the new strategic direction for the Transport & Logistics division by providing graduates with an overview of the entire global supply chain – including shipping, logistics and freight forwarding.
Graduates will be fast-tracked into leadership roles driving the future growth of the business. Candidates are required to have a Masterʼs Degree from a leading business school, plus two to three years relevant work experience.
Recruitment of the first 75 graduates to join the programme is underway with the first intake arriving in September 2017.