Maersk invests millions in Russian ports
Maersk’s subsidiary company APM Terminals, one of the world’s biggest container terminal operators, and has taken a 37.5 percent stake in Global Ports, part of N-Trans, a Russian private transport group.
Although currently subject to approval, the deal will see APM Terminals take half of the 75 percent stake in Global Ports, currently held by N-Trans, making them equal controlling partner of the company. Maersk are paying $840m in cash for their stake, and will also assume $20m of debt from N-Trans.
Global ports currently accounts for a 30 percent share of the Russian container market, making it the country’s biggest operator. Largely focused on the Baltic, it operates two container terminals from St Petersburg, the country’s biggest container port by throughput. Global Ports also has operations at Kotka and Helsinki in Finland and Muuga in Estonia.
In an online statement, APM Terminals said they hoped the investment would ‘create further opportunities’.
‘The Russian market showed impressive growth rates in the past with an average growth over 15 percent a year in the past five years. The rapidly developing middle class, Russia’s integration with the global economy as evidenced by the recent WTO membership and the country’s wealth of natural resources will continue to fuel the growth in exports and imports in the long run,’ the statement continued
“This investment underpins our long term business development strategy of increasing presence in high-growth markets. The scale of entry in a market like Russia will further strengthen our diversified global portfolio. The partnership will also serve as our platform for future business development activities in this attractive part of the world,” added Francois-Xavier Delenclos, APM Terminals’ Vice President of Strategy and Business Development.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.