Across the world, integrated logistics solutions are helping businesses unlock new markets.

In today’s environment of frequently disrupted supply chains and continued economic challenges, market demand can shift quickly. New competitors can emerge, economies can slow down or speed up – all affecting the viability of a business operating in those conditions. Opportunities to branch into new markets can be invaluable for a business experiencing a slowdown in existing markets, or one seeing an opportunity to reach different customers.

By managing all stages of the integrated supply chain’s logistics cycle, an end to end services provider can play a key role in helping a business access a new market. From procurement and distribution to transport and delivery, a business’ integrated logistics partner can help decide the best approach for each market and offer access to local networks and local expertise. It can also manage multiple suppliers and stakeholders, helping alleviate the complexity of entering a new market.

Local solutions for global ambitions with integrated logistics

A business may know and understand its home market well. However, each new market is unique with a specific set of challenges and opportunities. Using its understanding of the landscape, the logistics partner can also customise a local solution for the business in that new market. It can also help them navigate the linguistic and cultural differences, variations in technical efficiency and expectations, as well as specific laws and regulations.

Integrated supply chain management can extend to everything from bookings and customs clearance, to warehousing and insurance. A logistics partner with a footprint in the new target market can offer a business access to an established and extensive network of providers. This can save the business time and resources, removing the need to build partnerships from scratch. Instead, it can draw on the logistics partners’ existing experience and knowledge.

An integrated supply chain gives businesses end to end visibility, greater flexibility, and the ability to vary transportation modes across ocean, air, and land. It improves agility, resilience, and ability to respond to disruptions quickly and successfully – all of which is important to a business stepping into a new market.

A delivery man wearing beige shorts and a matching shirt is holding a package and walking down a street looking at house numbers. His white delivery van is visible in the background.

Using end to end logistics to seize new opportunities

The ability to use end to end logistics management to facilitate access to new markets applies across continents and industries – from chemicals to lifestyle, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, automotive; and technology.

For example, an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer in China could work with their logistics partner to bring their product to a new market in Europe, where their partner has experience of operating. According to Statista, China exported almost 17 billion USD in EV battery materials in 2020, which Visual Capitalist estimates adds up to 56% of the global EV battery market. Meanwhile, Germany’s EV battery market is growing by almost 18% annually, presenting an attractive opportunity to the Chinese EV battery manufacturer. By tapping into their end to end services provider’s existing presence in Germany and its knowledge of local regulations and requirements, the business in China is saving time and money, and gaining the ability to react to market trends quickly and effectively. This is in addition to the efficiency and resilience a business gains from having an integrated supply chain that includes inland handling capability, air cargo and ocean freight, and a wide range of warehousing and distribution internationally.

Another example could be a chemicals company in the United States wanting to capitalise on India’s growing demand pesticides. The US is the world’s second largest exporter of pesticides after China, according to the Observatory for Economic Complexity (OEC). Fortune Business Insights estimates that the demand for pesticides in India will continue to grow from almost USD 65 million in 2021 to over USD 130 million by 2029. As with any other new market, branching into India requires a clear understanding of local rules and regulations for imports and exports. In addition, transporting chemicals can be subject to additional regulations. Failing to adhere to these can result in fines, but also in fires and explosions. An end to end logistics services provider specialised in transporting dangerous goods and with an established presence in India can ensure the relevant import and export regulations on both sides are met, that the necessary checks are carried out and that the transition into a new market is smooth.

Greater certainty in a world of uncertainty

Geopolitical risks are one of the greatest pressures facing supply chains in 2022. This is particularly relevant for business wanting to expand into a market affected by geopolitical challenges. Here, integrated supply chain management can also help. 

With end to end logistics, businesses can vary transport modes, split product loads and vary warehousing options. With complete supply chain visibility they can identify the impact of disruptions quickly and respond by changing connections and find new warehousing and distribution options that circumvent issues.  Working with their logistics partner, they can also ensure a business has a plan of action in place in regions where geopolitical challenge are a factor. 

The benefits of branching out beyond existing markets are significant, helping diversify the customer base. Working closely with an integrated logistics partner that can help navigate the challenges outlined above, may be the key some businesses are seeking to unlock new and unfamiliar markets.

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