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MSC Getting Into Air Cargo as Maersk Adds Warehouses

Two of the largest ocean freight carriers–Maersk and MSC–are turning to warehousing and air cargo, respectively, to expand their capacity and reach.


MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has started developing a new MSC Air Cargo solution in response to customer demand and as a complementary service to its container shipping solutions.

MSC Air Cargo has been under development for several months and the new solution will be available from early 2023, following the delivery of the first of four MSC-branded Boeing 777-200F aircraft that will be operated by Atlas Air, a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, the company said.

MSC has appointed Jannie Davel, formerly of Delta Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and DHL, to develop its air cargo business and to build the team that will implement it.

“We are delighted to announce the development of MSC Air Cargo and to welcome Jannie Davel to spearhead this exciting new offering for MSC clients,” MSC CEO Soren Toft said. “This is our first step into this market and we plan to continue exploring various avenues to develop air cargo in a way that complements our core business of container shipping.”

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A rendering of an MSC air cargo plane

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has 675 offices across 155 countries. With access to an integrated network of road, rail and sea transport resources around the world, MSC’s shipping line sails on more than 260 trade routes, calling at 520 ports.

MSC is following in its rival’s footsteps after Maersk announced plans last year to expand its air cargo investments.

“As a global provider of integrated logistics, Maersk is improving the ability to provide a one-stop-shop and end-to-end logistics capabilities to our customers,” Vincent Clerc, executive vice president of Maersk and CEO of Ocean & Logistics, said at the time. “We have strengthened our integrated logistics offering through e-commerce logistics acquisitions, tech investments, expanding our warehouse footprint and, as a natural next step, we are now ramping up our air freight capacity significantly and creating a broader network to cater even better for the needs of customers.”


Meanwhile, Maersk continues to add to its warehouse presence in the U.K. and Ireland.

In addition to a 15-year lease for a newly built warehouse in Doncaster in the north of England, Maersk has signed a lease for two new distribution centers in the Irish capital of Dublin. All the facilities have a strong focus on their operations creating low CO2 emissions, Maersk noted.

The Doncaster facility is part of the G Park Doncaster Mammoth 602 development and connected by road, rail and air. With more than 600,000 square feet of total space, 60 dock levellers and several hundred parking spaces and offices, the warehouse is one of the largest in U.K.

The developer, GLP, has built the facility on a net zero carbon scheme for construction. In addition to the warehouse in Doncaster, Maersk’s portfolio comprises two other U.K. distribution centers, in Tamworth and Kettering.

In Ireland, Maersk has signed a lease renting two new warehouses in the Quantum Logistics Park in the north of Dublin. The units will feature a combined space of 250,000 square feet and will be built to fulfill the sustainability standards of LEED Gold and BREEAM Excellent ratings.

Dublin-based developer IPUT Real Estate will complete the two warehouses in the fourth quarter of this year and the second quarter of 2023, with the second unit becoming Ireland’s first net zero logistics building using a glue-laminated timber structural frame. Quantum Logistics Park is strategically located 2 kilometers from Dublin airport and 15 kilometers from Dublin port with immediate access to the M2 motorway.

“These three new warehouses in the U.K. and Ireland are a strong statement that we are ready to deliver on our integrator promise to our customers and serve them with end-to-end logistics solutions from factory to their end-consumers if they wish,” Gary Jeffreys, area managing director for UK and Ireland at Maersk. “The demand for integrated and thus more resilient supply chains has grown significantly over the past two years. The disruptions of Brexit and the pandemic moved the logistics from a commodity level to a C-level topic, where it actually belongs.”

Following the successful acquisition of the warehousing specialist LF Logistics in Asia, Maersk now offers its customers integrated logistics solutions in more than 550 warehouses with a total global space of around 9.5 million square meters. Several additional Maersk warehouses are planned to go into operation in Europe in the coming months.

As an integrator of logistics, Maersk is also developing and providing solutions ranging from ocean transportation to landside and air transportation, contract logistics, including warehousing and distribution (W&D) and depots, custom clearances and visibility solutions. When supply chains were impacted due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Maersk’s resilient end-to-end solutions ensured customers’ cargo kept moving, the company oted.

The integrated solutions allow Maersk to have greater control over the movement of the cargo at multiple stages of its journey and bring resilience to the supply chains. With the expansion of W&D facilities, Maersk is strengthening its position by providing a larger array of services to its customers.