Reaching the summit together: how Maersk and Vestas plan to transform the supply chain

For the Danish wind energy company, the simple need for containerised transportation of wind turbines evolved into a long-term strategic partnership which aims to transform Vestas’ supply chain with an integrated and data-driven logistics solution.

The background 

Leading the sustainable energy movement

Founded in 1898, Vestas is a world leader in sustainable energy and the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines. A long-established name within the industry, Vestas have installed more than 84.000 Turbines in 88 different countries around the world, helping to build a brighter and more sustainable future.

At present, Vestas is set firmly on a path of preparing for the industry for growth, particularly in the offshore segment following the implementation of the green agenda in 2024. This means scaling up its operations and devising ambitious plans to deliver increased power to consumers across the globe. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need for green alternatives propelled by the uncertainty of an ongoing energy crisis Vestas is paving the way to a more sustainable planet.

The challenge 

Finding a partner to support business growth

Prior to establishing its partnership with Maersk, Vestas was working with multiple transport logistics providers. Not only did this make supply chain operations more complicated, but it also meant gaining visibility on end-to-end deliveries was challenging. Plus, as Vestas strived to be more proactive and predictive in the delivery to its customers, it required an end-to-end solution that would support business growth and help the company meet its sustainability ambitions.

Vestas needed an experienced logistics partner who could provide increased transparency and visibility, deliver time-effective and cost-effective solutions, offer added value to the business and align with its company ethos and values.

"We've seen that Maersk has undergone a big transformation in recent years and now offers full end-to-end logistics solutions combined with strong financial muscle and global reach."
— Torben Andersen, VP Transport Procurement, Vestas

The Maersk solution

Building a supply chain to enable, and fuel, growth

The link between the two organisations started with containerised transportation and evolved into today’s partnership. Maersk and Vestas had engaged in dialogue with each other for a number of years, and although the manufacturer was already working with its incumbent suppliers, communications between the companies picked up in fall 2021 and the idea of a closer collaboration began to take shape.

In recent years, Maersk has undergone a change of business model. In 2018, it released its vision of becoming a global integrator of container logistics, connecting and simplifying its customers' supply chains from end to end.

Now in 2022 – and despite the fact there are still some misconceptions of it being solely an ocean carrier – Maersk has quickly evolved to become well known as a global player within integrated logistics. So much so that the company was named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Third-Party Logistics Worldwide, credited for its constant strive to improve customers’ supply chains with greener solutions, technological advancements and integrated supply chain solutions. The key differentiator which now sets Maersk apart from its competitors is its fleet of owned assets, enabling the company to bring greater reliability and stability to its customers’ supply chains – a strength that Vestas viewed as crucial to the partnership.

This evolution of Maersk’s capabilities was a key draw for Vestas. The manufacturer wanted more than just a company to execute its transport from A to B – it wanted a partner that could deliver an end-to-end solution, supporting it to reach its commercial and sustainability goals through providing a toolbox of products to increase visibility, transparency and control.

The key driver here is the end-to-end solution provided, allowing Vestas to operate strategically and seamlessly on a global scale.

Maersk and Vestas

On 1st January 2022, Maersk and Vestas formed a strategic partnership, encompassing:

Truck pictogram
Door-to-door transport from suppliers to factories and service warehouses
The transportation of containerised site parts and transport equipment
The provision of air freight shipments

Crucially, this long-term agreement provides benefits for both companies - Vestas with predictability on costing, and Maersk with clarity on forecasting, delivering guarantees that other providers would not be able to uphold within the current market. Maersk’s ability to do so is driven by its ownership and control of its assets, which enables the company to deliver on time for its customers, without the need to compete for space on third-party vessels. Furthermore, this fixed-price agreement sits as a testament to Maersk’s values – its word is its bond, and it is earning the trust of Vestas and demonstrating its reputation as a logistics partner which can be relied upon.

Alongside this, both parties also have clear ambitions to explore and implement other elements from Maersk’s toolkit, all with the intention of adding more visibility to customer deliveries and creating opportunities to scale up. This includes the management of customs clearances for both origin countries and destinations to obtain cost savings and planning a bespoke supply chain management service, which enables the manufacturer to maintain a clear oversight of all supply chain operations.

Harnessing the power of a data-driven supply chain allows Vestas to efficiently plan, understanding how to prioritise shipments depending on the criticality of containers, but it also supports the company to be reactive when required, changing the mode of transport to expedite shipments. This has proven extremely important in the current market that’s often impacted by disruptions.

"In Maersk we’ve found more than just a company to transport our cargo. We now have a partner to embark on our journey with us – bringing transparency into our processes and allowing us to deliver with certainty, in a sustainable way, to our customers.”
— Lotte Krag, VP Global Transport, Vestas

As a leader in integrated logistics

Maersk has ambitious goals in terms of sustainability, aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2040. While a key consideration for Vestas was securing a partner that could accelerate growth and allow for increased focus on its core business activity, the manufacturer also needed support to reach its own goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.

To assist the customer in working towards carbon-neutrality, Vestas is also looking into how Maersk’s Emissions Dashboard can support its ongoing drive towards sustainability. Aiming to provide reporting and optimisation data across all transport modes, as well as full visibility over supply chain emissions, this additional platform is an example of how Maersk is continuing to seek out ways of adding value to the partnership, finding tangible routes to improve Vestas’ environmental impact.

Maersk is consistently pushing boundaries and continuing to innovate, creating sustainable solutions which bring value to customers. From identifying environmentally friendly crate materials to gradually moving away from black fuel and towards electrified assets and methanol vessels, Maersk is committed to adding value and making a difference – both commercially and environmentally.

Maersk and Vestas
“The team at Vestas often use a proverb: ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. This really speaks to the nature of the partnership we’ve built with Vestas.”
— Bo Lange, Global Client Program Director, Maersk

The result

An aligned, forward-thinking partnership

For both Maersk and Vestas, this partnership has signified a mutual journey, working together to overcome challenges and devise appropriate solutions.

Both companies see that the key to making the relationship work is the cultural fit between them as well as the willingness to open up and learn from each other – a two-way exchange of knowledge, underpinned by curiosity about new ways of working.

Coupled to a mutual understanding of the need for scalability and sustainability, this is seen as essential to making the partnership work.

Plus, the recent acquisition of Danish freight forwarder, Martin Bencher Group, brings even more potential to the partnership. Now, sights are fixed firmly on how the collaboration will develop to include the transportation of project cargo to factories and construction sites across the globe.

The relationship between Maersk and Vestas extends far beyond merely a customer-service provider relationship. The two companies work towards true collaboration: Maersk is fully integrated within Vestas’ operations and acts as an extension of their own team, with both making shared investments to meet shared challenges.

The result will be a different business model – not something standard, pulled off the shelf. Making it work sustainably will benefit the businesses, and the planet.

Maersk and Vestas
“When we meet challenges, we meet them together. Our company cultures are a great fit, our values are closely aligned, and we’re constantly looking ahead and seeking to add value to the partnership in meaningful ways.”
— Sussie Bager, Global Key Client Director, Maersk

Looking to the future

Vestas is ambitious about its plans for supporting industry growth on green and sustainable energy. While moving towards its vision for a more sustainable and greener planet, the need to be more proactive and responsive to market disruptions will grow. Part of the commitment Maersk has made to Vestas is to go on this journey with them, overcoming myriad challenges to build a scalable, resilient and transparent delivery of Vestas components that ultimately ensure predictability for the end customer.

Maersk has, in the past 10 months, seen great success in its collaboration with the customer. Vestas measures the success of the partnership against three Cs:

  • Competence: the ability to grow with the customer and deliver a quality service to them
  • Capacity: having the infrastructure and resources in place to support their growth journey
  • Competitiveness: providing the most competitive transport deal in the market
Maersk and Vestas
Against all three of these criteria, Maersk is delivering and demonstrating its value to Vestas, adapting to a new landscape, a new type of customer and new challenges. As an asset-owning logistics company, with both a global footprint and a global team at the ready, Maersk is committed to developing its relationship with Vestas, adding value piece by piece and climbing the mountain to reach the summit – together.

Contact us to see how Maersk can support your business with integrated logistics solutions

Sussie Bager
Global Key Client Director, Maersk