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Maersk Partners With Microsoft to Bring More Digitization to Its Global Supply Chain

With Microsoft’s cloud computing services and Azure platform, Maersk has a powerful set of tools for turning its vast operational and commercial data into more efficient operations and better products and services for customers. By Patrick Burnson




While much transportation trade press attention has been given to the predicted purchase of Hamburg Süd by Maersk, the Danish mega carrier has been quietly negotiating a deal with another legendary giant in the information technology sector.

Global transport and logistics powerhouse Maersk recently announced that it has joined forces with Microsoft Corp. in a strategic move to revolutionize supply-chain management and worldwide commerce.

From its connected vessels to its transportation economics, the company is betting on Microsoft to fuel growth and power logistics globally.

Cathy Morrow Roberson, president of the research firm Logistics Trends and Insights LLC, calls this “A big win” for Microsoft.

“Maersk is already familiar with the software company’s abilities, as its energy group already utilizes Microsoft for its services,” she said.

Cathy Morrow Roberson, president of the research firm Logistics Trends and Insights

“This new relationship will have the potential to transform the logistics industry”Cathy Morrow Roberson, president of the research firm Logistics Trends and Insights

“This new relationship will allow Maersk to build out it’s digital platform that in turn, will have the potential to transform the logistics industry.”

In essence, this agreement means that Microsoft has been selected as the preferred cloud partner for Maersk’s digital “transformation journey,” supporting its high-value assets such as carrier performance, equipment utilization and supplier performance.

Microsoft Azure is the digital platform of record to power Maersk’s app store and help fuel business model innovations.

In total, Maersk estimates that the power of data will help save tens of millions of dollars to the bottom line annually.

“Our aim is to simplify and enhance visibility in supply chains by providing a seamless end-to-end digital experience for our customers,” said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, Maersk.

“Microsoft Azure is the cornerstone in our digital strategy, providing one common platform shared by all our transport and logistics businesses. On Azure, we are also creating a marketplace of apps and digital products that improve operations and drive better business decisions.”

Maersk and Microsoft
Data is a key resource in supply chain management, from forecasting and planning, to tracking end customer deliveries. The sheer volume of data Maersk generates is an enormous opportunity, and one that is largely untapped.

“Our goal at Microsoft is to empower every organization on the planet to achieve more,” said Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft.

“We’re excited to enable Maersk to harness the data from the world’s biggest fleet of container ships, and help them drive the digital transformation of an age-old industry.”

Ibrahim Gokcen, Chief Digital Officer, A.P. Moller - Maersk and Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft.

The partnership between Maersk and Microsoft means

  • Microsoft has been selected as the preferred cloud partner for Maersk’s digital transformation journey supporting their high value assets such as carrier performance, equipment utilisation and supplier performance.
  • Microsoft Azure will be the digital platform of record to power Maersk’s future app store and help fuel business model innovations.
  • Microsoft’s intelligent cloud will be used to enhance operational performance, increase the visibility and predictability of supply chains and improve service to millions of Maersk customers worldwide.

Download the White Paper: Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure

 

Maersk is the largest transport and logistics company in the world with offices in 130 countries and a fleet of more than 1,000 vessels. The company’s container carrier, Maersk Line, which has 600 container vessels, sails in all major trade lanes, transporting more than 17 million containers annually, and its terminal operating unit, APM Terminals, is operating in more than 70 ports worldwide.

Delays in manufacturing, bad weather, terminal bottlenecks and other incidents routinely cause disruptions to global supply chains. The ability to anticipate, make timely decisions and take swift action is critical when millions of dollars are on the line and unforeseen events impact shipments and business productivity.

Damco, Maersk’s business unit for supply-chain solutions, recently launched several digital supply-chain solutions built on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Services (see video above).

Related: Executives Not Happy with Digital Supply Chain Transformation Efforts




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About the author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]







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