- To address a vital need in global trade, A.P. Moller – Maersk is developing an integrated cold chain offering that will reduce food waste, minimise complexity for customers and put the business in an even stronger position to tap into the high-growth market for perishable goods.
- Despite a modest short-term outlook for trade growth, Maersk expects global reefer volumes to continue to significantly outgrow the dry container market in the coming years.
- Maersk is investing in more and better storage options that will establish unbroken, connected cold chains from farm to supermarket.
- The integrated cold chain offering is based on the latest digital innovations and reefer technology that are enabling increased transparency for customers, both inside and outside the container.
A.P. Moller – Maersk wants to address a vital need in global trade, reads a news release on the company’s website.
Hence, it is developing an integrated cold chain offering that will reduce food waste, minimise complexity for customers and put the business in an even stronger position to tap into the high-growth market for perishable goods.
Global cold chains
Importing and exporting fresh and frozen products involves multiple players with very diverse offerings.
Global cold chains are so fragmented that companies, big and small, experience frustrating inefficiencies in the physical movement of goods.
The coordination efforts are complex with many handovers and little transparency that ultimately lead to waste of both time and some of the goods being transported.
Maersk’s response to these customer challenges is the development of an integrated cold chain logistics offering.
The ambition is to close major gaps in the supply chain and connect it through integrated end-to-end cold chain solutions that reduce cost and waste, explained Katharina Poehlmann, Global Head of Cold Chain Logistics at Maersk:
“We are creating a one-stop shop that minimiszes the number of parties our customers need to deal with and delivers a consistent, high-quality value proposition and customer experience,” she said.
Reefers to take over dry market
Moving one in four refrigerated containers – commonly known as ‘reefers’ – globally, Maersk is building its cold chain offering from a position of strength. Despite a modest short-term outlook for trade growth, Maersk expects global reefer volumes to continue to significantly outgrow the dry container market in the coming years.
As this projection only covers the oceanside of the cold chain, the total market represents a big opportunity for not only the Ocean business but also Logistics & Services.
“The potential in cold chain logistics really embodies what the global integrator strategy is all about. As one service provider, we can deliver differentiating value to the customers and enable them to grow their businesses,” explained Poehlmann.
To this end, experts across Maersk are coming together to enable a truly integrated offering.
In addition, Maersk’s assets make the value proposition stand out in the market, for instance with the ability to prioritise equipment and slots on the vessels, and to provide cold storage at critical points of customers’ supply chains.
Better storage operations
In many markets, cold storage providers operate very locally. Customers therefore must engage with several providers across geographies and the many handovers cause breaks in the cold chain.
To close this gap in these markets, Maersk is investing in more and better storage options that will establish unbroken, connected cold chains from farm to supermarket.
These facilities enable customers to store the produce closer to consumers, provide access to special capabilities such as blast freezing, boxing, repacking and labelling, and create the ability to balance supply and demand over time.
Remote Container Management
The integrated cold chain offering is based on the latest digital innovations and reefer technology that are enabling increased transparency for customers, both inside and outside the container.
One of the technologies is Remote Container Management (RCM) that creates end-to-end visibility of the conditions inside the box. Since the launch in 2017, more than 3,600 companies have signed up for RCM technology and 97% of Maersk’s combined pool of more than 380,000 refrigerated containers (reefers) are supported by the technology.
With the introduction of a virtual assistant, Captain Peter, in late 2019, customer experience will become even better. The AI-enabled avatar will assist customers along the cargo journey by keeping an eye on the container’s temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels.
Wiskerke Onions has been one of the key customers involved in the development of Captain Peter. The increased visibility makes a business-critical difference to the Dutch onion exporter:
“I choose Maersk and Captain Peter over others because I can see what is happening with my cargo. It takes months to grow onions and they can’t be easily replaced if they spoil during transport,” said Chayenne Wiskerke, CEO of Wiskerke Onions.
“The full visibility on the conditions in the container is an additional “insurance” that our cargo will make it to its destination in perfect condition,” he added.
Maersk aims halving food loss
Maersk also aimed to leverage its services, products and capabilities to contribute to halving food loss in logistics.
The targets (2019 and extended to 2020) are to establish two global partnerships to address loss points in the food supply chain and to develop a metrics framework for food loss contribution and to guide the shared value of our business-related investments.
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