“Be prepared for one constant: Change. Change is here to stay. Resiliency is key,” cited Vincent Clerc as he pointed to the global pandemic as an accelerator for the Maersk journey towards the integrator of container logistics.
Long Beach, California USA – A.P. Moller - Maersk (Maersk) CEO of Ocean & Logistics, Vincent Clerc spoke before a capacity crowd on the opening day of the Journal of Commerce’s Transpacific Maritime (TPM) annual event. Mr. Clerc addressed Maersk’s progress towards becoming an integrator of global logistics, a transformation spearheaded in its North America footprint.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of integrated supply chains as a strategy to handle disruption. Supply chains must be able to withstand shocks and surprises with resiliency.
He pointed to acquisitions of new inland logistics capabilities in North America as a strong example of the value proposition Maersk is building for its customers in a time of unpredictable, stressed global supply chains.The bolt-on acquisitions include Pilot Freight Services $1.68 bn (US) (awaiting regulatory approval); Visible SCM $838 million (U.S.); Performance Team USD 545 million (U.S.) and Vandegrift Customs Brokers (U.S.).
Long-term customer relations in focus
On stage, Mr. Clerc fielded questions from the host of the event, JOC/IHSMarkit Vice President, Peter Tirschwell and members of the audience and pointed to the importance of a shared vision of where to go and what to achieve between Maersk and its customers.
“A lot is still unfolding. No one has all the answers. Getting together and talking is key,” Clerc said and continued,
We made important decisions in 2020 on our pricing for customers. We would forego spot rates in favor of long term, fair-priced contract rates and added 200,000 TEU to the Asia/U.S. Transpacific trade, doubling our capacity from 2019 levels. We are here for the long term customer relationship.
He concluded and pointed to Maersk having in the past year changed its long term/short term ocean cargo ratio from 50:50 to today’s 70:30 ratio as an investment in long-term partnerships with customers.
Other topics discussed in the conversation, included:
Decarbonization of logistics is part of Maersk’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) plan, also requiring investment and a need for a shared vision of taking action across the supply chain. Maersk will host its ESG Day on March 10th to elaborate on how it will deliver on its net zero target for 2040 across the entire business footprint.
ILWU contract negotiations: Are handled by the Pacific Maritime Association who represents the 70+ maritime employers. Negotiations haven’t started yet. Mr. Clerc expressed his desire for a swift completion of the negotiations process.
Forwarders and NVOCCs: Forwarders remain important customers for us and they form a diverse segment with different business models, so it is not a one size fits all segment. We will continue to develop products that cater to specific forwarder needs such as our Maersk Spot and Block Space offerings.