CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 14, 2019
Forward Thinking

Maersk to combine liner, supply chain units into one product

Ocean shipping, Damco operations to operate with single point of contact.

Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk said it will integrate its liner shipping service and its Damco supply chain services operations and sell them starting Jan. 1 as Maersk products and services, the latest step in the company's multi-year strategy to position itself as an end-to-end supply chain management provider instead of just an ocean freight carrier.

In addition, Maersk said that, effective Oct. 1, it will combine its three regional carrier brands, MCC Transport, Sealand, and Seago Line, under one company that will be named "SeaLand - A Maersk Company". The Copenhagen-based carrier said the new structure will help strengthen brand recognition and ensure clarity for customers.

Maersk's integrated operation will be run by Vincent Clerc, the company's chief commercial officer. Damco CEO Klaus Rud Sejling was named to the new post as head of Maersk's Logistics and Services Products, reporting to Clerc.Damco's freight forwarding business, which serves customers requiring air freight services or multi-carrier options in ocean freight, will continue to be run as an independent business under the Damco brand. The move will enable the unit to focus solely on freight forwarding, Maersk said. Damco COO Saskia Groen In't Woud was named the CEO of the freight forwarding unit.

In February, Maersk CEO Soren Skou laid out an ambitious strategy to transform the company over the next 3 to 5 years into a global integrated logistics provider carrier to match the likes of FedEx Corp., UPS Inc., and DHL Express. Skou has said the overarching mission is to deliver simplified, interconnected, end-to-end services with Maersk being the customer's only point of contact.

Maersk plans to would expand or deepen penetration in areas like trade finance and facilitation, and warehousing and distribution. A soup-to-nuts strategy would enable Maersk to charge a decent premium for its services, and make it less reliant on volatile freight rates for its profits, Skou said at the time.

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