SeaIntel finds customers land in voicemail jail when calling carriers
SEAINTEL Maritime Analysis has uncovered a lack of people to answer the phone at ocean carrier offices, and instead facing automated customer service systems - voicemail jail - or encountering out-of-date contact details on company websites.
Of 1,400 phone calls made to a focus group of 30 carriers and 30 forwarders, 121 phone numbers were out of service, nine per cent of carriers were listed incorrectly and eight per cent of forwarders.

Ocean carriers' relied on automation on half of all phone calls with forwarders giving personal replies in two out of every three calls while the other answered by a machine, according to a report from London's Containerisation International.

MSC, Seago and Hainan PO came up tops for carriers who answered the phone in person with MSC and Seago taking 80 per cent of its calls in person. In contrast Hapag-Lloyd, Cosco and CMA CGA used its automated phone system on 70 per cent of all calls.

Although its latest investigation from the company's edition of SeaIntel's Sunday Spotlight did not establish efficiency of any response system, its point of view considered automation better than a person who may pass the customer on "from pillar to post".