- Maersk is acquiring an e-commerce fulfillment company, Visible Supply Chain Management, which has a network of nine fulfillment centers in the U.S., according to a Friday press release.
- The warehouse network is able to reach 75% of land in the U.S. in 24 hours and 95% within 48 hours, according to the release. Maersk already has 46 warehouses in the U.S., a spokesperson said.
- "When we talk E-Commerce to customers, they want to significantly grow their business through this channel, handle demand curves better and broaden their reach to the U.S. market and cross border markets," Managing Director of Maersk North America Narin Phol said in a statement.
Maersk has made a name for itself on the ocean where its existing fleet is still the largest cargo operation out there. But the company is increasingly interested in land-side logistics. And at its Capital Markets Day earlier this year, it said M&A would be one tool for making that happen.
At the event, Vincent Clerc, CEO of ocean and logistics at Maersk, said it was looking at companies that fit into its strategic geographic footprint, have an established customer base and are considered scalable.
"All three of the acquisitions that we have done so far do fit this model, and the acquisitions that we will have in the future will continue ... to have to live [up] to these three litmus tests," Clerc said, referring to Vandegrift in 2019, and Performance Team and KGH Customs Services in 2020.
In addition to Visible Supply Chain Management, Maersk also announced it would acquire B2C Europe Holding B.V., a logistics company focused on parcel delivery services in Europe, provided the deal clears regulators. B2C Europe ships 35 million parcels each year, according to a press release.
In a conversation with reporters last month, Phol said that e-commerce would specifically be a target for future expansion.
"On e-commerce, that is a big discussion point," he said. "So today, around 40% of our fulfillment business are commerce, and that is an area we are working very hard to also grow."
Phol said that the acquisition of Performance Team alone helped to triple its warehouse footprint and "since then we have also increased net capacity by another 30%."
Maersk offers a Fulfilled by Maersk product that targets e-commerce customers, which it sells as a solution for "optimizing inventory flow and precision to deliver individual orders precisely and on time," according to comments earlier this year by CFO Patrick Jany.
"Revenue in Fulfilled by Maersk doubled compared to last year and was driven by contract logistics and a growing footprint from the acquisition of Performance Team," Jany said in May.
The acquisition of Visible Supply Chain Management brings not only warehouses but existing business. It fulfills about 200,000 orders a day and 200 million packages a year, according to the release.
"The new supply chain architecture allows more of our small and medium-sized customers to tap into the growth driven by the increased online consumer shopping," Clerc said.