Maersk’s TBL solution lowered costs and streamlined customs and inland processes for perishable cargo moving from Cameroon to Chad.

How Maersk put Deelite’s logistics to Chad on track

The customer

Deelite is a Cameroon-based importer and distributor of goods, including food and beverages, electronics, automobiles, household products, and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). The company also runs a chain of supermarkets and stores.

Maersk has had a successful partnership with the customer, whose warehousing challenges in Cameroon are being tackled by the Full Container Storage (FCS) solution. This involved providing storage services when the customer’s warehouses would run out of space.

Import cargo awaiting clearance at the Douala port are housed in the Maersk yard. This helps Deelite save on storage and demurrage costs.

The challenge

Deelite manages its customs for all import cargo landing in Douala, Cameroon.

Nearly 5% of this cargo is bound for Chad, which is land-locked and located north of Cameroon. The cargo includes milk and fruit juice, the movement of which is time sensitive. A Deelite subsidiary, Saachi, handles the transport of this transit cargo and the customs at Chad’s borders.

However, despite a division devoted to Chad-bound cargo, Deelite found the transport of its goods challenging for several reasons:

  • It had to engage multiple logistics providers for customs and inland services from Douala to Chad.
  • Transit volumes, over 60 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), were proving unwieldy.
  • Maintaining adequate forex for payments at the border was a challenge.
  • Transport from the Container Yard in Chad to the customer’s premises was outsourced to multiple vendors. This was inefficient and led to inordinate delays.
  • Saachi was understaffed, with a single employee handling the paperwork for the transport of all cargo to Chad.

The solution

To help ease the movement of Deelite’s cargo through Cameroon and into Chad, Maersk Cameroon offered the customer TBL (Through Bill of Lading) – a solution that integrates different segments of the cargo journey.

This involved:

  • Handling the first round of customs clearance and documentation for all Chad-bound cargo that arrived in Douala.
  • The inland transport of transit cargo from Douala port to the Container Yard in Chad.
  • Door delivery of cargo from the Container Yard to the customer’s premises.

The result

Maersk’s TBL solution helped Deelite and Saachi reduce lead times and considerably lower costs.

With Maersk’s expert teams taking control of most segments of the customer’s logistics, the journey and processes were streamlined, handovers were fewer, and the customer only had to deal with a single partner.

How Maersk put Deelite’s logistics to Chad on track

While normal deliveries would take over 4 weeks, the Maersk operation helped transport the transit cargo in under 21 days, reducing operating costs.

In 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic threatening to derail pre-Ramadan cargo — Deelite faced challenges in payment transfers and procuring shipping documents on time — Maersk stepped in, ensuring that cargo to Chad was delivered in time for festival sales.

Satisfied with the TBL solution, Deelite contracted Maersk Cameroon for all their transit volumes for the year.

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