Maersk revamps ocean network in West & Central Asia


A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) will redesign its ocean network in West & Central Asia.

The network, that connects countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia will be reworked to improve speed to market, provide higher predictability and offering flexibility to the supply chain, according to the company.

Further, redesigning the network will also bring more resilience to the customers’ supply chains, Maersk argues, protecting them better from operational challenges that arise out of contingencies.

Included in the changes:

  • The new ME4 service will offer a direct coverage between Doha and North Europe, improving speed to market by up to five days and by up to six days from Jebel Ali to West Africa for majority of customers
  • The ME3 service connecting fresh produce exporters from Pakistan to Russia will see an improvement in transit times. This will further reduce wastage of the fresh produce by maintaining its integrity through end-to-end cold chain logistics offered by Maersk in Pakistan
  • The FI3 service will change from fortnightly to weekly giving frequent options for importers getting cargo from Far East into North India
  • The ME7 service will connect South India’s lifestyle, retail and automotive manufacturing sector directly to Europe. The cargo will thus flow smoothly without getting affected by unforeseen delays in case of congestions
  • The ME7 service will also provide a direct and regular rotation between the hubs of Colombo and Salalah
  • The new FI4 service, that combines previous Jade Express and Chennai Express, will connect South East Asia with India and Pakistan on a single direct service

As a part of the redesigning of the network, the ME6 service as well as transhipment on AE1 at Colombo will be discontinued.

Customers will continue to have the options to connect their cargo on a full array of services calling West & Central Asia.

The network changes will be implemented in a phased manner and will not affect the total deployed capacity in the global network.

Mads Skov-Hansen, Head of Liner Operations Cluster, Maersk West & Central Asia, said, “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains have experienced a perfect storm.

“The unprecedented scale of operational challenges restricting supply during the pandemic and the strong demand surge in parallel led to significant bottlenecks, capacity issues and unforeseen delays across supply chains.

“This prompted us to redesign our ocean network to overcome these challenges and make our customers’ supply chains more resilient.”

Bhavan Vempati, Regional Head of Ocean Management, Maersk West & Central Asia, continued, “Our customers deserve a predictable service that will allow them to plan their supply chains better.

“With our redesigned ocean network, we are not only providing our customers with predictability and resilience, but also greater speed to market allowing them optimise their inventories and operations to meet the surge in demand with a competitive edge.”

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