“Global growth forecasts are being lowered and uncertainty is the word, so it’s a challenging period we’re in,” says Graham Slack, Chief Economist for the Maersk Group.
“All companies are focusing on their supply chains, looking to lower their costs and diversify risk, not by leaving China but by expanding elsewhere. And in some cases that means building production closer to consumer markets.”
The shift in Japanese trade to Mexico is an example of the opportunities Maersk businesses have as supply chain alterations occur. In this case, the potential for a lot more business stems from the nearly 2,000 Japanese car part suppliers that have followed the carmakers to Mexico and will need supply chain assistance.
“As logistic partners and service providers across thousands of supply chains, Maersk Line, APM Terminals and Damco can play a key role in enabling their customers to cut costs and grow their businesses,” says Slack.
Planes, cranes, automobiles and future champions
Cars are an increasingly important business segment for Maersk Line as carmakers hunt lower costs and greater access to markets. Instead of producing complete cars and sending them on ‘ro-ro’ vessels, manufacturers build car parts in one or more locations and ship them in containers to final assembly points closer to the consumer markets.