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Maersk spending close to $1bn to beef up its e-commerce logistics offerings

The transformation of A.P. Moller – Maersk under CEO Soren Skou enters a new, important chapter today with the decision to acquire two e-commerce logistics companies, helping the Danish giant build an asset-light business based on e-commerce technology across Europe, US and Asia and further blurring the lines between container carrier and express operator.

On the back of posting all-time record quarterly profits, Maersk announced today the $838m acquisition of Visible Supply Chain Management (Visible SCM), a business-to-consumer (B2C) logistics company focused on B2C parcel delivery and B2C fulfillment services in the US and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, US. Furthermore, it announced the intention to spend $86m acquiring B2C Europe, a business-to-consumer logistics company focused on B2C parcel delivery services in Europe and based in The Netherlands.

These acquisitions will make a big difference for customers’ ability to sell across multiple channels effectively

“Fast-changing consumer buying patterns and digital platforms are accelerating online consumption, redefining business models across the globe,” Maersk pointed out in a release today. Many Maersk customers are seeing strong e-commerce sales growth as they roll out digital first strategies and are looking for support of their business-to-consumer supply chain growth.

“The acquisitions will provide Maersk with a strong growth platform in the rapidly evolving field of e-commerce, where our investments in digitalisation and integration will create significant synergies and make a big difference for customers’ ability to sell across multiple channels effectively. Furthermore, they will allow us to have a more comprehensive offering towards small and medium sized customers,” said Maersk Ocean & Logistics CEO Vincent Clerc.

Within e-commerce Logistics, Maersk is building an asset-light, global business focused on two core capabilities: B2C fulfilment and B2C delivery.

Visible SCM enables e-commerce businesses to ship and compete with the biggest brand names out there today. Visible SCM uses a geographical network that places fulfillment centers closer to the consumer, with less distance and faster delivery. Maersk’s customers can tap into Visible SCM’s e-commerce network to deliver goods to 75% of the US population within 24 hours and reaching 95% of the US geography within a two-day delivery window.

B2C Europe, meanwhile, is in parcel delivery services for both retailers and brands as well as for logistics operators, with a focus on cross-border deliveries.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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