A.P. Moeller-Maersk has completed the previously announced consolidation of Maersk Logistics and the freight forwarding operations of Damco. From Sept.7, these formerly separate divisions will operate under the single brand name 'Damco'.
"We are essentially an integrated organization, and offering freight forwarding and supply chain management solutions under two brand names was confusing to a lot of our customers," says Rolf Habben-Jansen, CEO of the combined company. "This consolidation makes us easier to do business with and streamlines our internal organization."
The official re-branding is the final step in a consolidation process that began in 2007 with the decision by Maersk to run its logistics business more independently from the shipping line, he says. "Because we have continued to operate under two names, the impression is that we are two organizations, but we really have been operating as one organization for 18 months now."
Damco already is working on a business plan to double its revenue by 2014, says Habben-Jansen. This will be achieved by further developing Damco's existing customer base and by targeting geographies and industry sectors where the company "is not yet so strong." Damco particularly will focus on emerging markets in South Asia and Africa and on industries like perishables and other verticals "where we believe we have a lot to offer," he says.
Continuing volatility is the biggest challenge in many markets today, Habben-Jensen says. "As a consequence, our customers have to make sure their supply chains are very agile so they can react quickly to changed circumstances." Damco is well positioned to help them with this challenge, he says. "Even though we are not such a huge organization, we do have a global footprint and we are still relatively lean and flat, which allows us to be quite responsive. We also have an asset-light strategy that allows us to open and close offices and to move into and out of territories much easier than some of our competitors."
Habben-Jensen is cautiously optimistic about an economic recovery. He anticipates an uptake in the next couple of quarters, though he believes this will be a technical rebound due to re-stocking depleted inventories. "Then I think we will start seeing a very slow recovery of the economy with a fair amount of volatility continuing."
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