The world’s largest container shipping line Maersk has teamed up with the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to cut out the middleman.
Chinese companies wanting to transport goods are now able to reserve space on Maersk vessels directly with Alibaba through its website.
Shippers traditionally use freight forwarders to book space on container vessels. They will still be involved providing services such as haulage.
The service is initially being offered on routes from eight Chinese ports, including Shanghai and Ningbo, to locations in Europe and Asia.
It is the latest logistics move by Alibaba, which have been taking stakes in couriers and buying warehouses.
E-commerce companies are increasingly venturing into logistics activities to try to gain better control over their supply chain networks.
Amazon.com has registered a Chinese business as a freight forwarder and has leased aircraft to handle more of its own deliveries in the United States.