RE­LI­A­BIL­ITY IS WHAT CUSTOMERS LOOK FOR

Hav­ing the lion’s share in mov­ing cargo on the land­side, Maersk is now fo­cus­ing more on dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and pro­vid­ing end-to-end so­lu­tions that are more re­li­able and trans­par­ent, re­veals Bhavik Mota, Head, Trade and Mar­ket­ing, Maersk Line In­dia

Maritime Gateway - - Contents - By Omer Ahmed Sid­diqui

BHAVIK MOTA

HEAD, TRADE AND MAR­KET­ING, MAERSK LINE IN­DIA

Q How was the busi­ness in South­east Asia last year?

Last year we have grown 7 per cent in our vol­umes and growth has come from all the coun­tries in the clus­ter, par­tic­u­larly In­dia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. On the in­land side, if you look at the CONCOR An­nual Re­port, the con­tainer vol­umes moved by rail is around 19 per cent of the over­all vol­umes han­dled. There is still sig­nif­i­cant vol­ume of cargo mov­ing by road be­tween the hin­ter­land and get­ting con­tainer­ised at the ports. If you look at our mar­ket share from the hin­ter­land it is around 20 per cent on an ag­gre­gate, mak­ing us the largest player. Also if you look at the first three quar­ters of the fi­nan­cial year, we have seen strong growth of 8-10 per cent on the in­land rail trans­port and we ex­pect this trend to con­tinue.

The in­land mar­kets are grow­ing much faster than the coastal mar­kets. We op­er­ate con­tainer ter­mi­nals in Pi­pavav and Nhava Sheva and our ICDS are in Jaipur, Dadri and Tuda. We have CFS in Nhava Sheva, Chen­nai, Tu­ti­corin and Mun­dra.

Q In the south Asian mar­ket, which of the trade lanes do you see cargo move­ment grow­ing rapidly?

I think it is across all the trades. If you look at con­sump­tion and in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment along with in­vest­ment, you will no­tice more growth hap­pen­ing to­wards the hin­ter­land. The growth rate on GDP is 7 per cent, 800 mil­lion peo­ple re­sid­ing in the hin­ter­land will see more growth fu­elled by gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives.

A lot of ves­sel shar­ing is hap­pen­ing on the ocean side leav­ing no room for dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion which is al­ready very com­modi­tised, so our fo­cus is now on de­vel­op­ing and dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing on the in­land side. We have plans to take our in­land busi­ness to the next level, wherein customers will have to deal with very few ac­tors across the supply chain. Con­sol­i­da­tion has al­ready hap­pened on the ocean side, now customers want us to han­dle their ship­ments com­pletely end-to-end.

Q What is the sig­nif­i­cance of South Asian mar­ket for Maersk?

Some mar­kets of­fer you growth but no scale, while oth­ers give you scale but not growth. South Asia is a re­gion where we are see­ing both scale and growth. If you look at the mar­ket size of 6.5 mil­lion FFES in the global sce­nario, In­dia will be among top five grow­ing economies.

Q In Nepal traders face high lo­gis­tics cost. How is Maersk ad­dress­ing this is­sue?

We are the pi­o­neers in ad­dress­ing this is­sue, be­cause the whole cargo move­ment for Nepal is very cum­ber­some and most of the customers wanted an al­ter­na­tive. Re­cently we have started a ser­vice from Vizag into Nepal, it is called Kath­mandu Ex­press. It re­duces the dwell time for customers and their cost has also come down by 10 per cent.

Q Nepal has a trade im­bal­ance with lots of im­ports and very few ex­ports. Does this cause any prob­lem to you?

We ba­si­cally tri­an­gu­late and move the empty boxes to east In­dia which is a very big mar­ket from where ex­ports are mov­ing out and the emp­ties are reused. Def­i­nitely there is some cost in­volved but that is the cost of do­ing busi­ness. We are plan­ning out how we can help the coun­try bal­ance the trade.

Q Tell us in de­tail about your endto-end so­lu­tions?

Cur­rently we have the big­gest in­land net­work. We have 59 in­land ac­cep­tance points and we are con­nect­ing to 17 ports. We have seen tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity on the in­land side given the con­tainer­i­sa­tion hap­pen­ing in our part of ge­og­ra­phy. We are like 56 per cent in con­tainer­i­sa­tion whereas most of the de­vel­oped coun­tries around the world are 75-77 per cent. To­day one of the ma­jor pain points of the cus­tomer in the hin­ter­land is lack of re­li­a­bil­ity and vis­i­bil­ity in in­land cargo move­ment. We al­ready have ded­i­cated rails run­ning be­tween Vizag and Bir­gunj, an­other ded­i­cated rail con­nects Pi­pavav and Dadri. We also need to ex­pend these ded­i­cated routes across the coun­try.

Q What are your ser­vices to Bangladesh?

Bangladesh is right now served by feeder ports from Colombo and Tan­jung Pelepas. We are eval­u­at­ing op­tions to see if we can route cargo via one of the ports in In­dia.

Q What can we ex­pect on dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion front from Maersk?

We are cur­rently in­vest­ing in a state-of-art soft­ware system which can of­fer real-time vis­i­bil­ity and track­ing to cus­tomer. To scale up our in­land busi­ness we need to dis­patch our first mile and last mile very ef­fec­tively. These as­pects will be the main fo­cus of the soft­ware.

Bhavik Mota, Head, Trade and Mar­ket­ing, Maersk Line In­dia

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