How Maersk’s integrated customs solution takes the hassle out of customs for high street chain wilko.

Integrated customs services for a seamless supply chain


A well-respected retailer of household goods in the UK, wilko has over 400 stores throughout the country. It depends on logistic partners like Maersk to keep its vast distribution centres stocked so it can meet the ebb and flow of customer demand throughout the year. It’s an incredibly complex logistical exercise to coordinate 7,000 containers per year with 15,000 SKUs from all over the world. For wilko, logistics is nothing short of mission critical.

Logistics is the lifeblood of wilko’s business.

Anas Aslam,
Logistics Commercial Manager, wilko
Integrated customs services for a seamless supply chain

The challenge

The logistical challenges wilko faces are many and diverse. They source goods from a wide range of countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Turkey, as well as from European Union member states such as Romania, Bulgaria and Poland. In addition to organising trans-ocean container shipments, they face complex customs and taxation issues at the UK border, which require real customs expertise and in-depth knowledge of their industry. That’s why wilko partnered with Maersk to not only handle the supply chain management (SCM) and shipping of cargo, but also the complex customs business, to ensure the smooth flow of goods to their warehouses.

Ready for anything

Two prime examples of Maersk’s customs and taxation expertise occurred in 2020. We provided invaluable customs and tax consultancy on the possible outcomes of the protracted Brexit negotiations, enabling our suppliers and us to prepare for any eventuality regarding VAT registrations, EORI numbers, Incoterms, and so on. In the same year, Covid-19 turned the business world upside down as demand dived to virtually nothing before shooting up once again. The flexibility of Maersk’s combined SCM and customs solution helped optimise demurrage and detention (D&D) arrangements and enabled us to cope in a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

Integrated customs services for a seamless supply chain

The solution

By using Maersk’s customs expertise, wilko enjoys a seamless, end-to-end logistics service from ports of origin, through customs clearance, and on to their UK distribution centres. Fueled by the expert knowledge of KGH Customs Services – an innovative pan-European customs services provider, Maersk offers immense customs experience and a large team of specialists who manage all their documentation as well as ATR certification, DDP or T2L processing. Maersk also monitors wilko’s deferment account to ensure duties are always paid. They are also provided KPIs based on volume and the quality of transactions completed, along with any compliance errors. Their SCM system is integrated with Maersk’s, so as soon as they raise a purchase order (PO), Maersk is notified.

Before the cargo is ready, Maersk contacts the vendors to make sure their bookings are made on time. Maersk’s system gives wilko total visibility of the status of every purchase order, its location at any time, and its ETA. This system is also used to create customs entries directly into Maersk Customs Software. In addition, suppliers upload documentation to the Customs portal, allowing Maersk to perform all the necessary reconciliation. Maersk’s SCM also means individual containers can be identified at the port of entry and split off, if necessary, so other containers don’t get held up. Additionally, duty and VAT reports provided at the end of each month give visibility on the landed costs (i.e. cost per SKU), which help wilko understand where the most cost-competitive suppliers are.

Maersk people are subject matter experts with industry-leading expertise.

Anas Aslam,
Logistics Commercial Manager, wilko


Maersk’s integrated customs service means total peace of mind for wilko, knowing that all customs documentation has been submitted correctly, and their freight is delivered on time. Having the same customs service and SCM provider creates a more efficient passage through customs and seamless service to their distribution centres. It also gives them total visibility of every PO, so they know the precise status of each one. In summary: more efficient processes plus improved visibility equal reduced overall costs and a lot less hassle.

Taking the next step with Maersk

Customs documentation can be a complicated business. That’s why Maersk offers customised solutions to streamline your logistics processes and ensure your customs paperwork is submitted flawlessly and on time, every time. At Maersk, we believe that integrated logistics can help unlock the biggest hidden potential in your value chain. To know more about our SCM and customs services, please contact your Maersk sales representative today.

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