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Maersk Serangoon becomes the longest ship to call at Chennai Port

Maersk Line India has added another feather to its cap by berthing  M.V. Maersk Serangoon V.1510 at Chennai port, making it the longest vessel to call Chennai port.


Commenting on this development, Mr. Franck Dedenis, Managing Director for Maersk (India and Sri Lanka) said, “The berthing of   MV. Maersk Serangoon V.1510 at Chennai port is a historical achievement. It shows our confidence in the south India market. The berthing not only sets the bar for the future but it will also help us in achieving operational improvements through reduction of cost due to economies of scale.”

To mark the occasion, an on-boarding ceremony was organized at the Chennai port in association with DP World, one of the largest marine terminals company. Senior officials from the regional office of Maersk line DP World and Chennai Port Trust graced the occasion.

Maersk partners Indonesia government on maritime and economic development of Bitung Jakarta

Maersk Group has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Coordinating Ministries for Maritime Affairs and Economic Affairs, to enter an alliance on the maritime and economic development of Bitung in Eastern Indonesia.

The LOI was signed jointly by Dr. Ridwan Djamaluddin, Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs for Infrastructure; Dr. Edy Putra Irawady, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs; and Jakob Friis Sorensen, President Director, Maersk Line Indonesia, and Rene Piil Pedersen, Group Representative for Asia-Pacific, Maersk Group.

The signing ceremony was held during the maritime seminar “Increasing Connectivity” in the presence of Henrik, His Royal Highness the Prince Consort of Denmark during the Danish State Visit to Indonesia.

This will contribute to enhance inter-island connectivity, and is in line with the Indonesia New Maritime Strategy. With trade being more developed in the Western part of Indonesia, the aim of the LOI is to accelerate trade and economic development in Eastern Indonesia. Bitung has been therefore been identified as a special economic development zone and a strategic national transportation hub.

Focus will be placed on driving increased connections for Eastern Indonesia to more developed parts of Indonesia (Java), regional (ASEAN) and global export markets (such as Europe and USA).

“We want to support the development of Eastern Indonesia by understanding the challenges and opportunities for the supply chains of key commodities such as tuna, coconut and their downstream products, as well as the potential of aquaculture development and the need to improve vocational skills in this area. We see the added value this will bring and expect this will enhance the economic activity and trade of the country,” said Jakob Friis Sorensen, President Director of Maersk Line in Indonesia.

The scope of collaboration will include areas such as understanding the key drivers in the two industries; the processes around customs clearance, cargo release and other border procedures; the flow of goods through the port; the regulatory environment; and the shipping liner connectivity of Bitung in a regional and international perspective.

“We have been operating in Indonesia for more than 50 years, and we see the potential for increased exports out of the Eastern Indonesia. We are excited to partner with the Indonesia government to enable trade and develop for example, the fishing industry, which will create jobs and economic development to the local communities. If successful, our aim is to make Bitung a model for replicating good practice in other parts of Indonesia to bring about increased trade for the country,” concluded Jakob Friis Sorensen.

Maersk Line was the first shipping line to offer a direct service linking the Bitung port to the transshipment hub Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor in April 2014.

Building fisheries instead of pirate bays

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. A project in Somaliland to do just that has had Maersk Line’s support for the past two years.

Somaliland combines challenges with opportunities. Located on the Gulf of Aden, it is an autonomous region of Somalia and a self-declared state. As such it is fragile and the world’s fourth poorest, with youth unemployment as high as 67%. Livestock amounts to 60% of GDP, but Somaliland’s 800-kilometre coastline is rich in fish stocks.

The area has notoriously been prone to pirate activity targeting the busy shipping lanes going through the Gulf of Aden. A military effort to curb piracy is one part of the puzzle; helping to develop alternative means of income to the people living in extreme poverty is another.

Cold storage opens opportunities

Over the past two years, Maersk Line has partnered with FairFishing in the port of Berbera to set up a functioning cold storage system in Maersk Line refrigerated containers able to treat up to 4.5 tonnes of fish per day.


Maersk Line reefer containers arrive in Berbera.

Since its opening in 2013, 400 tonnes of fish have been refined in the FairFishing facilities, and the port has seen a catch increase of 60%, lifting the income of local fishermen dramatically.

To ensure long-term effects of the project, the work haFair Fishings focused on transferring skills to local communities and building a sustainable model for fisheries, including upgrading vessels, conveying equipment and training the fishermen within Somaliland, particularly in relation to employment of youth and women.

Maersk Line & FairFishing in Somaliland were nominated for the ‘CSR Abroad Prize’ at the annual CSR Awards* conference on 7 October 2015 in Aarhus, Denmark.

“The partnership is pioneering and a strong example of how CSR efforts can create shared value,” stated the jury. “The fishing station generates economic development in the community, which is best known for piracy and refugees to Europe. At the same time it provides Maersk Line with a base in an area, which is on track to become a regional trade hub. This innovative concept will inspire other companies to explore new avenues within CSR.”

Based on the success in Berbera, the ‘FairFishing’ project is now exploring opportunities to export fish to Adidas Ababa over the next year.

*The CSR Awards is a major Danish annual conference, which aims to create awareness and debate on corporate social responsibility. The objective of CSR Awards is to raise awareness of CSR and motivate more companies to integrate CSR in the way of doing and innovating business.



Sigrid Schumacher, Sustainability Advisor, Maersk Line

Maersk Line launches first direct Thailand – Australia service in the market

Maersk Line will add a call at the port of Laem Chabang in Thailand on its Boomerang service starting from October 2015. This unique setup offers Thai exporters and importers with the first and only direct service between Thailand and Australia.

The weekly service will connect Thailand to main ports in Australia: Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The new direct link means the containers remain on the Boomerang service vessels, which provides a fast and reliable product and eliminates the need for transshipment of the cargo elsewhere in South-east Asia.

“We are seeing good growth in the trade between Thailand and Australia, and we will further promote this by offering a direct service, which will provide exporters and importers with superior transit time and higher reliability,” says Bo Wegener, Managing Director at Maersk Line in Thailand.

Exports from Thailand to Australia largely comprise consumer goods, including electronics and auto parts. Imports are primarily grains, hay, metal and paper.

“We have been operating in Thailand for more than 60 years, and will continue to expand our services in this important market. The investment in the direct call of the Boomerang service is another example of Maersk Line’s commitment to facilitate the growth of Thai exports and imports,” adds Bo Wegener.

The weekly service covers the ports of Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne – Fremantle –Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Laem Chabang – Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Fremantle– Adelaide – Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Yokohama – Osaka – Busan – Qingdao –Shanghai – Ningbo – Brisbane.

The first sailing of the direct service is on the vessel Maersk Virginia, which will depart from Laem Chabang port on 4 October 2015.

Moving containers over land instead of sea

In Thailand, heavy traffic and port bottlenecks has led to more use of rail for inland services, resulting in operational cost savings. 

In Thailand, Maersk Line uses three modes of transportation for laden as well as empty containers: truck, barge and rail.

However, the main ocean port of Laem Chabang has been growing its throughput, putting pressure on vessel schedule reliability. This is making it increasingly difficult to plan barge services from the Sahathai terminal, which is closer to central Bangkok.

It was therefore crucial for Maersk Line Thailand to find a solution to move roughly 16,000 more containers via land this year, to avoid the risk of incurring additional costs from last-minute contingencies and service failures.

20' on Rail

Trucks would increase congestion

Trucking was one option; also the preferred mode for most shipping lines. It is flexible, being independent of rail and barge timings. But trucks come with multiple issues: traffic congestion, bottlenecks due to a preference for weekend vessel arrivals, and the fact that depots are clustered near Lad Krabang.

Adding more trucks would only increase congestion and reduce efficiency. For example, a truck which can usually make three trips on a non-peak day, can only make a single trip on a peak day.

Increasing rail usage

Working together with Siam Shoreside Service, the inland depot which Maersk Line uses in Lad Krabang, the ‘rail maximisation project’ was conceptualised. The project had two elements: increase rail usage from the depot to Laem Chabang terminal, and maximise rail transportation of 20’ (instead of 40’) export containers.

Besides increasing transportation efficiency, another key target was to lower intermodal costs. Transporting a 20’ container by rail is 25% lower in cost compared to a 40’ container, and significantly cheaper than trucking it.

“Since the project started, the proportion of 20’ containers used has gone up from around 40% to 75%, which has resulted in significant savings,” says Kornthong Chakornsirisakul, Operations Manager in Thailand.

However, as there are factors preventing the lifting of a 20’ container on rail such as weight, the Operations team has to ensure there is sufficient supply of 20’ containers.


Stable and less polluting service

The shift to use more rail instead of trucking will help to ensure more efficient use of Maersk Line’s rail allocation by the depot. The project will also focus on increasing rail usage from Saturdays to Tuesdays, where usage is less due to vessel cut-off dates.

“Compared to 2014 on a year-on-year basis, we have increased rail usage by 7%. We are definitely keen to further increase this as it is  safer, more efficient, stable, costs less and causes less pollution compared to the other modes of transport,” concludes Kornthong Chakornsirisakul.