How Maersk helped assist in Jinko Solar’s international Covid-19 relief effort.
Jinko Solar is a corporation specialising in photovoltaics, headquartered in Shanghai, China. The company has an international presence, with 9 production facilities and 22 overseas subsidiaries, including offices in India and the United States. It is one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in the world, also producing silicon modules, cells and wafers.
In this particular instance, the problem facing Jinko Solar wasn’t one to do with everyday obstacles one might see in logistics. Instead, the problem was a result of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, and the recent flare-ups across Southern and Southeast Asia.
India is currently battling a second wave of infections, with thousands of new cases being reported daily. The rapid spread of the virus, unfortunately, led to staff at the Jinko Solar office in India testing positive for Covid-19, and the situation was further compounded by a widespread shortage of oxygen concentrators in the country.
The management at Jinko Solar HQ purchased 20 concentrators for their Indian colleagues and wanted to urgently send them across. However, this presented a few different complications. For one, space constraints and travel restrictions meant that it could take up to a week to find a suitable flight to transport the equipment. It would also require two flights to get from Shanghai to Delhi, which could result in further delays.
Furthermore, the oxygen concentrators were powered by batteries, which are often classified as dangerous goods, and may not be permitted by certain air carriers. Overall, the situation was relatively fraught with various complications, needing our team to do their best to find a suitable answer.
The team at Jinko Solar first approached Maersk about the problem on 8 May. Our team acted quickly to identify the exact demands and send the enquiry to the product manager the very same day, to initiate the process as soon as possible. Using Maersk’s Air Freight solution, our team in China was able to find suitable flights for both legs of the journey, complete a customs check, and have the cargo packed and ready for departure in a little over a week.
Our product managers got all the information they needed to confirm that the batteries were safe to transport and were also present at customs to explain these details to the authorities, which helped expedite the clearance process. Once the cargo was on the move, our customer care team kept a constant check on the shipment until it landed in New Delhi, to ensure no complications along the way.
By mobilising quickly, and through constant checks on the shipment every step of the way, our team took just 13 days to complete the transport of the oxygen concentrators from Shanghai to New Delhi – a process that takes around 19 days, by normal market standards.
Being adaptable is crucial, particularly in emergency situations like this one. While Jinko Solar has only previously used Maersk’s Ocean service, this entire process helped shine a light on the efficacy and agility of our Air Freight solution, particularly in cases that call for a rapid response.
The care that Jinko Solar showed for their global staff, especially during a crisis, deeply resonated with the values we hold dear at Maersk. We have had a strong partnership with Jinko for 4 years, and we feel honoured to have been able to help them provide timely aid to their colleagues overseas, to battle through this pandemic.
The second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in India is overwhelming, and we are more than willing to extend help to our Indian colleagues through urgent medical supplies. Our consignment of oxygen concentrators reached India safe and intact, and we couldn’t have pulled off this measure without the excellent support and effectiveness of the Maersk staff.