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Strategic integration and speed up again!Liner companies compete for the "door to door" track

Maersk announced further strategic integration, in which not only the Saferline brand will be merged into Maersk, but also The Danmax air and LCL business will be integrated with Maersk logistics and service products as a complement to its "door to door" business.At this point, Maersk has ushered in a new stage in the development of "door to door" business.



After the outbreak of the international financial crisis in 2008, the growth of global container trade slowed down, causing the liner industry to face great difficulties.In September 2016, Maersk announced to spin off its energy business and become an integrated container shipping logistics company.Maersk's announcement has transformed the global liner industry as much as it has transformed itself.


Liner companies are no longer content to bury their heads in shipping. They want to expand their industry chain and develop their "door to door" business.Over the past few years, the world's major liner companies have been combining their own characteristics and historical accumulation to carry out vertical network layout in the industrial chain.At the same time, digital technology enables the liner company to ensure the smooth operation of all links of the industrial chain.


The inland transportation system takes shape


The liner industry has developed multimodal transport by sea and land for many years, and major liner companies have their own multimodal transport networks.However, to develop the "door to door" business, liner companies need a broader and more secure inland transport system.As things stand, liner companies are generally beefing up their inland transportation systems of barges, trains and trucks to meet the needs of a more diverse "door-to-door" business.


The partnership with Blackbuck is a classic example of Maersk developing a global trucking system.In addition to trucking, Maersk USES both barge and train as its main means of transport on the inland system.Maersk in a typical country's inland logistics center can be seen from the choice of transport, Maersk has a more reasonable layout in the inland transport system.In China, Maersk has developed a system of barges and trucks, supplemented by trains;In the US, Maersk has a better train and truck system, supplemented by a barge system;In the Netherlands, the barge and truck transport network is comprehensive, supplemented by the train transport system.


Cma cMA, based on its development experience, established an inland transport system based on barge and train transport.In 2019, CMA will complete 7.3 million TEU intermodal service with its inland transport system.


In Europe, CMA has integrated MacAndrews (acquired in 2002) and Containerinerships (acquired in 2018) to form an interwoven network of truck, train and barge traffic.In North America, CMA has built a substantial infrastructure of inland rail and trucking systems with the acquisition of The President ship in 2016.In Africa, CMA acquired AMI Worldwide to build a better inland transport network.In the Middle East region, CMA began its multi-modal transport network in the 1980s.


Under the "One Belt And One Road" initiative, cosco shipping actively develops its overseas inland transport network.At present, cosCO shipping focuses on the development of inland transport projects including "China-Europe Land-sea Express Line", "China-Europe Railway freight train" and "Western Land-sea Trade New Corridor".In 2019, COSCO Shipping "China-Europe Land-sea Express Line" shipped a total of 1,365 trains, with a year-on-year growth of 64.3% in completed container traffic.A total of 34 trains with a total of 26 new "China-Europe railway trains" were opened, delivering 719 trains, with a year-on-year growth of 173% in total container traffic.


Among cosCO's key development projects, the "Central Europe Land-sea Express Line", which starts from Piraeus in Greece, passes through Northern Macedonia and Serbia, and reaches Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and other inland regions of Central and Eastern Europe, is the core project.In late 2019, COSCO announced the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in Eurasia Railway Logistics (PEARL), a specialist railway operator, to further consolidate resources in the railway transport corridor of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express line.In the first half of 2020, the volume of completed boxes on the China-Europe Land-Sea Express line increased by 43% compared with the same period last year.


Layout of warehousing and distribution facilities


The global size of the warehousing and distribution industry is estimated to exceed $200 billion, according to overseas agencies, and the market is promising due to the continued growth of e-commerce volumes.At the same time, liner companies need a broad distribution of warehousing and distribution facilities to provide more and more flexible door-to-door freight solutions.


Maersk completed the acquisition of North American warehousing and distribution business leader Performance Team in the first quarter of 2020.Founded in 1987, The Performance Team is a family-owned business with 24 storage facilities located and operated in North America.From 2016 to 2019, the annual profit growth rate of the Performance Team reached 17% on average.In 2019, the company's revenue reached $525 million.The acquisition brings Maersk's north American storage facilities to 46.In 2019, the combined revenues of Performance Team and Maersk Warehousing and Distribution North America were $931 million.


In addition to its acquisitions in North America, Maersk has invested in storage facilities and logistics centres in countries such as China, Russia, India and Vietnam in recent years, with its activity in China particularly evident.In July 2020, the first phase of Maersk Meishan International Logistics Center, covering an area of 150 mu, was officially put into operation.The first phase of the project has two warehouses.The second phase of Maersk Meishan International Logistics Center, covering an area of 200 mu, is also under planning.Maersk's 18,000 SQM Lushu warehouse in Taiwan opened in December 2019.In October 2019, Maersk Line signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Shanghai Lingang Economic Development (Group) Co., Ltd. to consider investing in the construction of The International logistics distribution and distribution center of Maersk Lingang.In April 2019, Maersk announced to build an international logistics base in Nansha.


Continued investment has enabled Maersk to scale up its warehousing and distribution facilities.According to Maersk's data for the first quarter of 2020, including the Performance Team's warehousing and distribution facilities, Maersk operates more than 250 warehousing and distribution facilities in more than 50 countries with a total area of more than 15 million square meters.More than 100 of them are in the Asia-Pacific region.More than 35 in Western Asia;More than 40 in North America;More than 15 in South America;Europe and Africa each have more than 10.


Cma's main warehousing and distribution facility originates from Giva Logistics, Switzerland.According to data disclosed by Switzerland's Giva Logistics, it manages more than 750 warehousing and distribution facilities in more than 34 countries, with a total area of more than 9 million square meters.The storage facilities of Swiss Kiwha logistics are mainly distributed in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and there are also some storage facilities in asia-pacific region.


E-commerce platforms connect customers


After the 2008 global financial crisis, the decline in global seaborne trade prompted liner companies to try to connect a wider range of customers and sell shipping space via online platforms.In the past 10 years, the liner company has accumulated a certain amount of knowledge from first trying to connect with the third-party online platform to exploring its own online booking products.With more adequate preparation for the extension of the "door to door" business, liner companies have launched a linear operation e-commerce platform to simplify the booking process and lay out global customers.


Maersk's e-commerce platform Maersk Spot, launched in June 2019, simplifies the booking process.The platform is fully digitally booked, with customers paying for freight at a fixed price and securing space while booking.The platform can book space anytime and anywhere, and provides 24/7 non-stop self-service.In March 2020, Maersk Spot launched its inland transport service (including trucks, barges and trains), enabling customers to book space for "door-to-door" freight with a single order.


According to the OECD, smes account for 60% of employment and 40% of GDP in the world's emerging economies.Twill (launched in 2017), an e-commerce platform incubated by Dan Maz, is laying out small and medium-sized enterprises by providing simple, transparent and efficient "door-to-door" booking services.By the beginning of 2020, Twill was available in 154 countries.


Cosco Shipping launched its e-commerce platform Syncon Hub in September 2019.As a digital visual shipping platform, Syncon Hub integrates airline product inquiry, online payment, online booking and other functions, and promises to protect space and cabinet.Syncon Hub has achieved a major breakthrough in system integration. It not only realizes real-time data exchange with cosCO shipping internal trading system, such as trailer system, but also seamlessly connects with external settlement platform and customs declaration platform, realizing online closed-loop operation of the whole process.


At the beginning of this year, CosCO Shipping cooperated with Huanshi Logistics and tried to explore the "door to door" service from China to Poland through Syncon Hub: in the Chinese end of the service, it provided customers with trailer customs clearance service in Shandong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces.In terms of shipping, we provide services from Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo and Shenzhen to Gdansk, Poland. We provide real-time inquiry, timely booking of space, and promise to protect space and cabinet.At the Polish end of the service, provide customers with customs clearance and terminal distribution services throughout the country.


CMA CGM eSolutions launches in April 2019 and to streamline its operations and promote efficient booking of flights by customers.On the door-to-door side, CMA's Swiss subsidiary Kiwha Logistics launched myCEVA in July 2020, enabling shippers to manage their entire shipping process online.MyCEVA not only provides real-time quotes and real-time booking services, but also enables the visibility of the "door to door" service -- covering every step of the journey to the destination and providing real-time assistance.


Other liner companies have also launched a wide range of vertical e-commerce platforms in the past two years, including Mediterranean Shipping myMSC platform and Haberot Quick Quotes platform.


Crack the pain points of the central link


In the process of extending the "door to door" business, liner companies are also solving the pain points in the central link through digitalization.Maersk, which has invested the most and deployed the most in digitisation in recent years, has done the most in this regard.Maersk pays more attention to the digitalization of customs declaration and warehouse distribution. These two links are not only the pain points in the "door-to-door" business, but also the important links that can generate business proliferation.


The biggest worry for traders is that shipments to and from ports around the world need to be cleared according to different laws and regulations, and if there is a delay, the arrangements will be affected.Delays can lead to additional costs such as storage costs, fines and so on, which can cause more problems for importers and exporters.


In order to solve this problem, two major alliance chains, TradeLens and GSBN, attract more customs agencies and customs clearance agencies to access, and focus on solving the pain point problem in the long run.Maersk has risen to the challenge and offered digital customs clearance on a door-to-door basis.In April 2019, Maersk announced that it would offer customs clearance in seven European countries -- Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK and Spain -- via an online shipping management platform.In November 2019, Maersk Digital shipping customs clearance service was successfully launched in more than 20 countries and regions around the world including China.


In July 2020, Maersk announced the acquisition of KGH, a Swedish business focused on European trade and customs management services, whose strategy focuses on digital solutions and technologies to achieve a more seamless customer experience.


In September 2019, Maersk announced a partnership with JDA Software Group to enhance warehousing and distribution capabilities using the latter's warehouse management solutions.Using JDA's cloud-based solutions will further expand the range and flexibility of Maersk logistics operations services.JDA's advanced warehouse management system will help Maersk's customers improve warehousing processes, increase efficiency, and reduce inventory costs, which will help Maersk's customers balance their urgent need for on-time delivery with their need for cost-effective delivery.The JDA warehouse management system will be available at some of Maersk's warehouses in Europe and the US starting in the fourth quarter of 2019, with plans to roll it out at Maersk's warehouse facilities around the world.


Cma's Swiss Subsidiary, Kiva Logistics, has also carried out digital upgrading in storage and distribution for many years.