Charleston, South Carolina – Speaking at the 48th Annual South Carolina International Trade Conference on the “Customer Strategy Post Pandemic” panel, Narin Phol – Maersk North America’s Regional Managing Director recommended building resiliency into supply chains, developing technology solutions and decarbonization solutions. The messages underlined this year’s conference theme “Elevating the importance of Supply Chains.”
“Supply chain disruption is a constant,” observed Mr. Phol, who added the past few years have elevated this reality and shown the importance of supply chains to everyone in the business community. “Don’t take anything for granted,” he warned noting supply chains need to be resilient and customers need to have an end-to-end plan in place to navigate through the inherent challenges that surface.
Traditionally, supply chains have been complex and siloed networks capable of keeping up with capacity demand and optimizing for cost, efficiency and scale. Supply chains have been successful under optimal conditions but when tested by major unexpected events, including a pandemic, regional conflict, labor strife, port and landside congestion, potential obstacles are introduced. Today, logistics professionals need to work through an increasingly more complex patchwork of suppliers, systems and solutions from origin to final destinations.
To solve these customer challenges, we focused on helping customers find end-to-end solutions such as off-dock depots for storage, warehousing and transload facilities (into domestic trailers). Equally important, we invested in landside logistics capabilities to provide the end-to-end solutions to North American customers.
Maersk North America has added significant depth to its supply chain scope the past few years: Performance Team offers warehousing and distribution/omni-channel fulfillment; Maersk E-commerce Logistics offers e-fulfillment; and Pilot offers last mile logistics services and delivery for B2B and B2C supply chains. Some customers were looking for more supply chain speed, so the Maersk Accelerate product was created– which fast tracks cargo within 48 hours of discharge at APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles into L.A.-Long Beach warehouses.
Another point highlighted by Mr. Phol was the pandemic has accelerated and magnified the challenges that already existed in data visibility. The logistics industry will need to become more tech-driven. Technology will address the visibility problem that exists in supply chains today and enable better planning by all parts of impacted supply chains tomorrow, changing the situation from reactive to proactive planning. An example is digitizing the supply chain. A single container being transported can require up to 100 document exchanges per trip, significantly adding to shipping costs with many manual errors potentially delaying the cargo.
Urgent action is needed now to reduce the environmental impact of supply chains. Decarbonization is a collaborative, multi-year effort across the entire supply chain that requires tangible efforts now to deliver on climate improvement goals in the years ahead. Maersk has ordered 19 vessels that will use green methanol for its global fleet and has purchased over 400 electric trucks for North America amongst other sustainability initiatives.
A.P. Moller – Maersk is an integrated container logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. As the global leader in shipping services, the company operates in 130 countries and employs over 100,000 people.