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Why Maersk Is Investing in These Emerging Markets

Maersk is expanding its warehousing footprint in Bangladesh with a new 100,000-square-foot facility being built in Chattogram.

The upcoming facility is strategically located close to the Chattogram Port and easily connected to the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway through the Outer Ring Road and Karnaphuly Tunnel, offering easy access to Bangladesh’s garment exporters based out of the nearby manufacturing hubs.

Maersk noted that Bangladesh is witnessing strong growth in garments exports. Apparel imports to the U.S. from Bangladesh increased 33.95 percent to 2.5 billion SME year to date through September compared to the same period  in 2021, according to the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel.

However, the warehousing footprint in Chattogram has not increased proportionally, the logistics giant said.

“The last two to three years have been extremely challenging for Bangladesh’s exporters,” Angshuman Mustafi, head of Maersk Bangladesh, said. “The Covid-19 pandemic caused many disruptions in the supply chains. The acute imbalance in demand and supply of goods, bottlenecks in the logistics ecosystem, displaced workforce and congestion at ports and warehouses led to unforeseen challenges in Bangladesh.”

“However, the pandemic also presented us with the opportunity to have meaningful dialogues with our customers and look into the future,” Mustafi added. “We realized that the demand for warehousing space was rising and decided to undertake measures that could address this requirement proactively.”

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Maersk Bangladesh has partnered with Vertex Off-Dock Logistics Services Limited to commission the new three-story facility. The lift, conveyor belt and slider-operated warehouse aims to maximize productivity.

Internal and external parking facilities will allow for a higher number of trucks and vans to be accommodated within the warehouse. Maersk noted it has access to expand if warranted.

“Through our collaboration with Maersk, we are building a facility that has a modern integrated installation,” Imran Fahim Noor, managing director, Vertex Off-Dock Logistics Services, said. “By building efficient warehouses, we are catering to the demand of the country’s exporters and addressing their requirements to the level of international standards.”

The facility is expected to go live by December and will help in addressing the warehousing capacity crunch faced by exporters out of Chattogram. Maersk’s total warehousing footprint in Bangladesh will cross 300,000 square feet with this new facility.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held last week.

Maersk is also enhancing its omnichannel-fulfilment capabilities in the Philippines by adding a 100,000-square-meter warehouse in Calamba, Laguna. The new facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

An hour’s drive from Manila, the new warehouse will connect to the regional industrial center where major manufacturers operate. The facility will be operated by the newly formed Maersk omnichannel-fulfilment team, after its successful acquisition of the contract logistics company LF Logistics.

“Maersk’s strategic ambition is to connect and simplify our customers’ supply chains.” Erry Hardianto, area managing director of Maersk Indonesia and Philippines, said. “With combining LF Logistics’ strength in the Philippines and strong expertise in our omnichannel-fulfilment operations, we will extend the scope of our logistics offerings closer to the end-consumers.” The facility will integrate LF Logistics’ key service offerings into Maersk’s product portfolios, including value-added services, distribution services, order management and end-to-end e-commerce. It will have a 75,000 pallet storage capacity with distribution technologies like pallet shuttles, automated sortation, put-to-light, yard management systems, and track-and-trace capabilities. It will meet the needs for retail, pharmaceutical and e-Commerce customers.

Maersk is developing and providing solutions ranging from ocean transportation to landside and air transportation, contract logistics including warehousing and distribution (W&D), depots, custom clearances and visibility solutions. With the expansion of warehousing facilities, Maersk is strengthening its position by providing a larger array of services through a single window to its customers.