The Europe-based ocean carrier has created another specialized, end-to-end cold chain logistics operation, as it works vigorously to establish a stronger foothold in the emerging market economy through synergistic supply chain solutions.
Maersk, in a notice to the local trade, stated that the operation was its first-ever “store-door delivery” for such freight in the Indian reefer market, where all aspects of the supply chain — such as intermodal, customs clearance, and documentation at origin — were seamlessly processed.
“We always help our partners throughout the globe in seamless logistical integrated solutions. This too is in the same direction and is a testimony to the complete set solutions we provide to our partners,” said Steve Felder, Maersk’s managing director for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Maldives. “This cargo was highly perishable and hence it was essential to leverage our reefer expertise in delivering the best logistical solution here to the client.”
Felder also said Maersk remains committed to working with its global partners to create more efficient, one-stop logistics solutions, which could prove to be a boon for the Indian reefer trade.
“With the successful shipment of apple saplings, Maersk has achieved yet another milestone of delivering one-stop logistics solutions when it comes to perishable cargo,” he added.
Maersk bullish on India
Maersk accounts for roughly 20 percent of India’s overall container market, and with what it calls a spirited uptick in Indian containerized export-import cargo during the first quarter, the carrier believes the emerging market will offer more growth opportunities during the year and beyond. New provisional port data collected by JOC.com support that sentiment, as volume handled at India’s major public ports in the April-to-June quarter increased 6.5 percent year over year to 2.4 million TEU.
Amid that uptrend, the carrier has shipped and delivered a host of temperature-controlled consignments for Indian exporters and importers, using its tailor-made, end-to-end logistics offerings and globally established expertise in refrigerated cargo transportation, in recent months. These shipments have largely consisted of fresh fruits, including a consignment of kinnows from Sonepat, Haryana, to Novorossiysk, Russia; bananas and pomegranates from Krishnapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, to Dammam and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; papayas from Mangalore, Karnataka, to Jebel Ali, Dubai; and frozen fruit juice and dry fruit imports into the northern capital region and Gujarat.
Most recently, Maersk transported a factory-stuffed, export consignment of reefer and dry cargo via India’s eastern Port of Haldia to various destinations, such as Los Angeles, New York, Savannah, and Alexandria (Egypt), for which transportation shippers in that region previously had to use the Port of Kolkata, involving extra costs and longer transits.
Further, Maersk’s sister logistics unit APM Terminals Inland Services has opened a large inland container depot in Pune — about 90 miles from Mumbai — and has also introduced a perishable goods handling service within its container freight station site at Ponneri, on the outskirts of Chennai in South India.
Additionally, APM Terminals India has secured a government nod as an authorized economic operator, which is expected to increase its freight handling efficiency and create operating cost benefits on the back of simplified customs procedures.