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Maersk: "New direct shuttle between Gothenburg and Gävle secures customer flows"

210322-pierre-ericAPM Terminals Gothenburg has spoken to Pierre-Eric Papoz, Maersk's Sales Manager Scandinavia Twill & Maersk Logistic Experts Customers. With nine years of experience in Maersk at his back, he tells us of the Maersk Group’s strong customer focus, their endeavour towards more climate-efficient logistics and a strong collaboration that resolved a difficult situation on the east coast.

What are your current priorities and focus areas?

We are working intensively on various customer-focused solutions and services, some of which were not originally traditional Maersk services. We have ambitious plans to grow in Sweden and Scandinavia.

What are your challenges?

Our major challenge right now is not having enough space on our vessels, which is a direct effect of the global pandemic. This makes it increasingly vital to maintain an open and proactive dialogue with our customers and to join with our partners to optimise opportunities for meeting customer needs. We work closely with APM Terminals and other players in the logistics chain and view our collaboration as a team that works together to find solutions.

We see that logistics flows are changing. How does this affect you?

It has a major impact on us. It means finding solutions that occasionally need to disregard traditional distribution of goods between the east and west coasts and between different ports. We are sensitive to our customers’ needs, which is why we need to be highly flexible and creative.

A good demonstration of this is our newly started shuttle to Gävle. Due to the situation on the east coast, we have not been able to rely on the traditional feeder solution to get our goods out. So, we contacted APM Terminals Gothenburg and asked for assistance in resolving the problem. In collaborating and discussing with APM Terminals, we were able to establish a direct shuttle between Gävle and Gothenburg, which we are now using on a weekly basis.

Due to the situation on the east coast, we have not been able to rely on the traditional feeder solution to get our goods out. So, we contacted APM Terminals Gothenburg and asked for assistance in resolving the problem.

How have customers reacted to the new Gävle-Gothenburg shuttle?

This investment secures our customer flows while increasing capacity on the east coast. Though it does not mean that the entire situation on the east coast has been rectified, we have been able to offer a qualitative solution at short notice, something our customers greatly appreciate. Another positive effect of the increased rail capacity is that we can attract cargo that would otherwise have been transported by lorry, which benefits the climate.

At Maersk, you strive to find the most climate-efficient solutions. How important are the environmental aspects to your customers?

Very important, I would say. A lot of our customers contact us to find solutions with the least possible carbon footprint. Here, it is vital that we collaborate with our other companies, such as APM Terminals, as they develop environmentally friendly and competitive transport solutions as well as offer carbon-free container handling in the port.

What initiatives do you think are required for climate-smarter logistics?

An important step towards attaining a more sustainable logistics chain is to switch from road to rail. We work actively to minimise transporting goods by lorry down to the continent. To succeed in this, I believe we need regular train departures so that customers can adapt their goods flows accordingly.

What do you think will be important in the future of logistics?

Environmentally friendly transport and digitalisation are two areas that will grow in importance. We recently launched Twill, a digital platform that helps SMEs gain control over their value chain. This is something we are investing heavily in and want to develop more in the future.

How do you view your collaboration with APM Terminals?

Firstly, APM Terminals makes us feel like an important customer. Many of our ongoing initiatives illustrate how dynamic our collaboration is. The newly started direct shuttle from Gothenburg to Gävle is an example of how quickly APM Terminals can act to meet customer needs and how well our collaboration works.

Another Maersk-APM Terminals collaboration example is the new container weighing service. APM Terminals has made investments that directly benefit our customers and that significantly increase safety, which we take a very positive view of.