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Maersk pushes into warehousing and distribution in India

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COPENHAGEN : A.P. Moller – Maersk is entering warehousing and distribution in a big way in India as it speeds up transformation into an integrated logistics player, aiming to connect and simplify customers’ supply chains, multiple sources said.

“One of the important elements of such integrated solutions is that of warehousing and distribution,” a Maersk spokesperson said.

“The various solutions that we are working on for our customers in warehousing and distribution include service at both origin and destination: from origin through our network of consolidation and deconsolidation warehouses and in combination with our transportation offering, or straight at destination with our fulfilment network, multiple capacity options: from large anchor regional warehouses to on-demand access which we
will gradually make available, and multiple speed options (e.g. 3-day, 1-day, or same-day),” the spokesperson said.

“In line with our strategy of providing multiple speed and capacity options to our customers, we will have our facilities across India closer to consumption and manufacturing hubs. We will be present across all metro cities and major Tier-II cities across India during our first phase of expansion,” he added.

Ocean carriers are going “end-to-end” to control the entire supply chain and Maersk’s strategy to move into warehousing and distribution is in line with this trend globally, said a top executive with a multinational logistics and warehousing firm with knowledge of Maersk’s strategy.

“Maersk will build some warehouses and distribution centres on its own, they will work with inland container depots (ICDs), they will work with people who build warehouses and lease them, they will lease warehouses themselves, so they will go for all sorts of collaborations in strategic places,” the executive said, noting that the carrier has the “money now to tie-up the parts missing from its integrated logistics” offering to customers.

Maersk’s plan, though, will be tailored to suit customers’ requirements.

“Let’s say they have a customer in the US. They will map that customers’ supply chain needs and if that means they need a warehouse in Punjab then they will get into warehousing in Punjab, not the opposite way.

They will not build a warehouse in Punjab on a speculative basis,” the executive said.

“They will do it for customer-to-customer, tailor made, then they will do it end to end,” he said, adding that Maersk is hiring executives for its warehousing and distribution activities.

The Maersk spokesperson said that the carrier’s goal is to provide solutions its customers require through the entire journey of their cargo.

“The interest that customers have in such truly integrated logistics, and how it resonates with the problems they face every day, is here to stay and its disruptive nature will profoundly change the way they think about supply chain outcomes and who to partner with,” the spokesperson added.

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