How the Maersk China team provided a quick solution for a food products customer in the middle of the pandemic and Chinese New Year.

Customer holding Meat, banana, Fish

The customer

Our customer is a multinational corporation with more than 150 years of history. Its main products include food, agriculture, nutrition, risk management and industrial products. The company conducts business in around 70 countries, providing agricultural business services and products tailored to customer needs and crop and livestock producers worldwide.

Lady working on port congestions

The challenge

Earlier this year, the customer had to deliver raw materials to its factories in Southeast Asia. Shipments were usually sent by sea from the port in Dalian in North-Eastern China. However, in February, Dalian saw congestions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting the on-time rate for offshore routes. The delays resulted in a severe backlog of cargo at the port. As a result, customers at the end of the supply chain were potentially facing large-scale shutdowns if the goods did not reach their production lines on time.

The solution

The customer's regional office in Asia-Pacific contacted Maersk headquarters for an urgent logistics solution, and the China sales team was immediately informed about the issue. After fully understanding the customer's needs, the specialist team in China rapidly responded with two proposals.

Port Navigation

Plan A:

The first plan involved shipping the customer's goods directly from Dalian to the Port of Tianjin in Northern China. However, after close comparative analysis, Tianjin's pandemic requirements were becoming increasingly strict. It included nucleic acid detection and other processes required for vehicles entering and leaving Tianjin. This meant that shipping the goods to Tianjin would have an impact, as a result, on the timeliness of cargo transportation.

Maersk office building, truck, Man moving with box

Plan B:

In the second plan, the Maersk team wanted to transport goods for delivery from Dalian to Qingdao, around 400 kilometres away. Transporting the goods to Qingdao had another benefit. The storage yard at that port also contained a Maersk warehouse, allowing the local teams to rely on this unique advantage and provide the customer with container selection and packing services.

After a comprehensive analysis of both plans and aspects such as operational convenience and transit times, our team of experts recommended the Qingdao solution.

Maersk’s unique advantage


Global network

The customer's head office reported its requirements to Maersk headquarters. Using our global presence, we quickly conveyed the issue to our team in China, localising to solve the problem.
Digital Complexity


Maersk’s work division system allowed us to employ the complementary advantages of the logistics department in the region. This enabled the quick mobilisation of multiple resources to respond to the customer’s needs.

Brand synergy

Our integrated logistics model allowed us to provide the customer the required results while achieving brand synergies.
Standing Officer and check mark

The result

The customer confirmed the second plan over email on 5 February at 2 am. Within five hours, the Maersk team leapt into action with the process of selecting and packing. The tasks ranged from cardboard positioning and desiccant placement to wearing shoe covers, labelling, and other details. Our team followed a strict quality process, and they took photos at various steps for review. No shipment was arranged until we received the green light from the customer. Despite festivities kicking off ahead of Chinese New Year on 11 February, the Maersk teams were still hard at work packaging and labelling the raw material.

By 15 February, Maersk's warehouse recovery service met the customer’s demand, providing a solution for 5,000 tons of stock. Although there was a severe shortage of vehicles during Spring Festival, we met our promise of ensuring the required number of vehicles for transportation. We also provided value-added services, including insurance via Maersk Sealand, which guaranteed protection of the goods through various services like price guarantees and positioning processes. As a result, the customer's cargo ultimately successfully reached the factory in Southeast Asia on time.

Take your next step with Maersk

Our drive to offer our customer an end-to-end solution was powered by a focus on developing our integrated logistics capabilities. Integrated logistics has immense untapped potential in business today. To know how our logistics solutions can effortlessly fit your requirements, please contact your Maersk sales representative today.

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