A.P. Moller-Maersk wants to provide more regional expertise for its Latin American clients as the shipping giant continues to expand its services beyond ocean freight under the guidance of new CEO Vincent Clerc.
Maersk opened a new Global Service Centre (GSC) in Mexico City to service the Americas region, as well as a dedicated satellite center in city of Santos in Brazil’s southeastern region. This comes after Maersk opened its seventh warehouse in South America’s biggest economy last September.
As Maersk’s shared services arm, GSC aims to support customers’ growing regional needs in individual markets. The Mexico City GSC will offer English, Spanish and Portuguese language support and process standardization to create a consistent customer experience across regions where Maersk operates.
Maersk said the centers will create over 700 new jobs in 2023 before nearly doubling to 1,300 positions by 2025. The two locations will employ staff in customer experience, finance, process management, technology and data/analytics roles.
“We have consistently prioritized our customers’ and business’ needs and these new centers allow us to take this ambition even further,” said Mohit Bhatia, head of Global Service Centres, Maersk, in a statement. “The GSC in the Americas will have many exciting opportunities to reshape the way teams within Maersk work together and create success through collaboration beyond boundaries.”
In recent years, Maersk has worked on becoming a global integrator of container logistics across transport nodes to broaden its solutions beyond its core ocean freight expertise.
An acquisition spree that started in 2021 includes Maersk scooping up Li & Fung’s logistics business LF Logistics, bulky freight delivery services provider Pilot Freight Services, freight forwarding company Senator International and non-containerized project logistics firm Martin Bencher Group.
And in 2022, the company added 243 total warehouses, including 198 facilities from the LF Logistics acquisition and 45 new facilities out of organic growth. Maersk now operates 452 sites in total.
The logistics expansion was reflected on Maersk’s balance sheet, with total revenue in the company’s logistics and services branch (including acquisitions) increasing by 47 percent to $14.4 billion last year. When only including organic contributions, revenue still rose 21 percent. Maersk said its top 200 customers drove its organic revenue growth and it continues to develop integrated solutions to meet end-to-end supply chain needs.
Maersk GSC is an international endeavor, with the division’s facilities already spread across four sites in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune in India, as well as two in the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Chongqing. It also has facilities in Manila, The Philippines and Tangier, Morocco.
“As part of our transformational journey to become increasingly customer centric, nearshoring some of our key customer processes close to where our customers are is another way of ensuring that we speak the same language as them,” said Farheen Mahmud, head of GSC Americas, Maersk. “Alongside, opening our hubs in the thriving cities of Brazil and Mexico filled with deep culture of service excellence will also provide fascinating opportunities to our Americas talent.”
Maersk says the branch’s teams interact with multiple stakeholders across A.P. Moller-Maersk to enable approximately 30 million touch points per year with over 59,000 customers.
The division oversees not only the strategic execution of finance and commercial processes, but also closely partners with the technology teams based out of Maersk GSC. For example, Maersk says that its GSCs offer end-to-end cross-functional perspective on process design and execution. This is enabled through centralized setup, driving towards standardization as it aims to ensure that there is a more consistent global customer and employee experience across locations.
Maersk expansion comes ahead of 2M dissolution
The freight giant, which is ending its 2M alliance with fellow container shipping titan MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company by 2025, has been busy trying to expand its geographic reach and overall competencies across global markets. Earlier this month, Maersk said it signed a new lease for a 685,000-square-foot facility at Segro Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway in Derby, England.
The newly built facility will be completed in June 2023 and is part of a 700-acre development by the U.K. real estate company Segro. The logistics park features the U.K.’s only inland freeport as well as a 50-acre Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) providing it with direct rail links to the seaports of Felixstowe, London Gateway and Southampton.
Maersk also addressed shifting consumer demand by extending its connections within China from both Europe and the U.S. As of March 20, it’s offered a new air freight service with scheduled flights between Billund, Denmark and Hangzhou, China. The inaugural flight also marked the first scheduled air cargo operation between Denmark and Asia.
This service includes three weekly flights with three newly converted Boeing 767-300 freighters that have recently been added to the fleet of Maersk Air Cargo. All Europe-China flights will be operated by Maersk’s internal cargo airline.
As for the U.S.-to-China service, Maersk introduced not one, but two new air freight services with regular flights linking the countries.
In April, Maersk commenced two weekly flights between South Carolina’s Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and Shenyang Taoxian International Airport, as well as two weekly flights between Chicago Rockford International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. Both services will be increased to three weekly flights starting in May.
The operation will be done with three Boeing 767-300 freighters, and will be operated by Miami-headquartered cargo airline, Amerijet International.
Those expansions came just months after Maersk announced it’s building a green flagship logistics center in Shanghai that should open for business by the third quarter of 2024.