A story about how a retailer streamlines a chaotic setup with the help of an efficient consolidation solution.
Retail is one of those industries that demand extraordinary logistical agility to meet customer demands. To achieve that, it’s essential to make sure that every step of the supply chain is efficient and organised enough to accommodate the ever-changing need for speed.
Our customer is one of the top ten retailers in the world with over 6000 stores across three continents. They have established themselves as a brand that always has the right offer for their customers, and at a consistently competitive price point.
The customer retails in 11 countries and sources 80% of their total volume from China. For an operation of this magnitude, consolidation was always a persistent challenge. Therefore, in 2017 the company embarked on a journey of internal transformation, spanning all 11 countries hosting their stores: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, and China.
Before the planned transformation, the customer’s ocean volume was decentralised, haphazard and excessively complicated. 11 market locations were separately interacting with 7 different freight forwarders for various requirements. They worked with this model for several years, but it had started consuming far too much time, money and resources.
The company started looking for a partner who not only had the expertise in simplification of supply chains but could also implement a solution without curbing their scale and speed.
As a top retailer, speed is paramount for the customer. Every week they have an average of 80 promotional items that need to be in stores within a specific time. With this mind, they needed a solution that focused on simplification while upholding speed of delivery to the retail outlets. We could be the customer’s first partner with their direct carrier contracts under their ocean freight consolidation globalization project. Due to the scale and time-sensitivity of the project, we conducted trial shipments to all the countries. This approach helped us in spotting and fixing any issues that could have come during the final implementation. To make the test run a success, our dedicated sales and customer service teams were in close contact with the customer, to take continuous feedback and implement corrective actions wherever necessary. Once the trial concluded, Maersk proceeded to implement the solution simultaneously for all the locations.
Centralising their ocean freight has yielded great results for the customer and our collaboration. Between 2018 and 2020, their ocean FFE with Maersk has grown 300 times, and destinations have expanded from Europe to US and Australia. In the first quarter of 2020, our customer also commenced utilisation of our Intercontinental Rail service from China to Europe. In the second quarter, they used our air service to transport over 26 million masks to Germany and UK. They also entrusted over half of their CHB requirements to us. In the future, our association is expected to grow further to include many more efficient solutions.