The India unit of Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, is expanding its cargo-shipping role in the country to establish itself as a provider of end-to-end supply chain solutions that would include doorstep delivery.
“One noticeable change we have already seen in India is that we are closely working with our customers to execute more and more of the supply chain,” Steve Felder, the India head of Maersk, told ET. Felder has recently been appointed managing director for the Danish conglomerate’s operations in India and five other neighbouring markets.
A bigger role for Maersk in the supply chain would mean the company’s involvement in the road and railways legs of shipments for importers, and delivering consignments at factories or warehouses.
Felder said the focus on allied services, which the company outsources to third parties, has increased in the past six months. The strategy is in line with parent A.P Moller Maersk Group’s plans to focus on its transport operations while seeking alliances or a separate listing for its energy division, as articulated last September by chief executive Soren Skou.
“Instead of just doing a port to port business, Maersk is going the extra mile in delivering to inland container depots or even the customers’ premises,” said Felder.
Two weeks ago, Maersk delivered a refrigerated shipment to an ICD in Sonepat, Haryana for Dev Bhumi, a local cold chain operator. It also delivered a shipment right up to the premises of confectionary company Perfetti Van Melle.
Felder called them “comprehensive ways to increase revenue and create more value proposition for customers.”
He said the next step would be more regions in more corridors in India. In June, it introduced a direct, time-guaranteed rail route between India’s Visakhapatnam port and the Birgunj Inland Container Depot in Nepal.
The rail link is meant to feed cargo for Maersk’s intra-Asia Chennai Express (CHX) service calling at Visakhapatnam and will cut transit times for cargo moving to and from Nepal by half, from 14 days via Kolkata to seven days, the company said. Read more
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