Speaking at the 48th Annual South Carolina International Trade Conference on the Customer Strategy Post Pandemic panel, Narin Phol – Regional Managing Director of Maersk North America – recommended building supply chain resilience, developing technology solutions and decarbonization solutions. The messages underlined this year’s conference theme “Elevating the important of Supply Chains”.
“Disruptions in the supply chain are a constant,” noted Mr. Phol, adding that recent years have amplified this reality and shown everyone in the business world the importance of supply chains. “Don’t take anything for granted,” he warned, noting that supply chains need to be resilient and customers need to have an end-to-end plan to meet the challenges that arise.
Traditionally, supply chains have been complex and siled networks able to keep up with capacity demands and optimize costs, efficiency and scale. Supply chains have thrived under optimal conditions, but when tested by major unexpected events, including a pandemic, regional conflicts, labor disputes, port and land congestion, potential roadblocks are introduced. Today’s logistics professionals must work their way through an increasingly complex patchwork of suppliers, systems and solutions from origin to final destination.
To solve these customer challenges, we have focused on helping customers find end-to-end solutions such as off-dock depots for warehousing, warehousing and transhipment (into caravans). Equally important, we have invested in landside logistics capabilities to provide end-to-end solutions to North American customers.
Maersk North America has significantly expanded its supply chain scope in recent years: Performance Team provides warehousing and distribution/omni-channel fulfillment; Maersk E-Commerce Logistics Offers E-Fulfillment; and Pilot provides logistics services and last mile deliveries for B2B and B2C supply chains. Some customers wanted more speed in the supply chain, so the Maersk Accelerate product was developed, which tracks cargo from Los Angeles’ APM Terminals to LA-Long Beach warehouses within 48 hours of unloading at Pier 400.
Another point highlighted by Mr. Phol was that the pandemic has accelerated and magnified the already existing data transparency challenges. The logistics industry needs to become more technology-driven. The technology will address the transparency problem that exists in supply chains today and will enable better planning tomorrow by all parts of the affected supply chains, changing the situation from reactive to proactive planning. One example is the digitization of the supply chain. A single container being transported may require up to 100 document exchanges per trip, which significantly increases shipping costs as many manual errors can potentially delay the load.
Action is now urgent to reduce the environmental impact of supply chains. Decarbonization is a collaborative, multi-year effort across the supply chain that requires concrete efforts now to meet climate change goals in the years to come. Maersk has ordered 19 ships that will use green methanol for its global fleet and has purchased over 400 electric trucks for North America, among other sustainability initiatives.
AP Moller – Maersk is an integrated container logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. As one of the world’s leading providers of shipping services, the company operates in 130 countries and employs over 100,000 people.