Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Maersk unveils technology-driven warehouse in Cameroon

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A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk), the global integrated logistics company, has opened its doors to a brand-new and technology-driven Warehousing & Distribution (W&D) facility in Douala, Cameroon.

Situated within the Douala Port Zone, Maersk’s new facility is the ideal site for cargo moving in and out of one of the most important ports in the country along the West African coast, one that also serves as a gateway to several markets within Central Africa.

“With the rapid expansion of the middle-class population in the region, there is a growing demand for goods, especially in the FMCG sector. The Port of Douala plays a crucial role in meeting this demand, as it handles over 70% of imports into Cameroon, serving both the nation’s population and its landlocked neighbours within the Central African Economic and Monetary Community.

The conversations with our customers have revealed a gap between the demand and supply for modern Warehouse & Distribution (W&D) facilities that can provide the additional capacity needed in this market.

As a response, we have decided to invest in a technology-driven Warehouse Management System (WMS) facility. This strategic move not only bridges the demand-supply gap, but also offers our customers a cost-effective and efficient solution.

We are expanding our logistics footprint in Southern West Africa and will scale up as per the customers’ demands,” said Michel Koffi Managing Director, Maersk Southern West Africa.

Maersk’s new W&D facility in Douala will be spread over 16,000 sq. m., including more than 12,000 sq. m. covered space that provides more than 8,000 pallet positions. The facility will provide for dry warehousing and distribution with a focus on deconsolidation and fulfilment. Being a bonded facility, it will also provide for the storage of cargo in the customs clearance process. Maersk will also arrange value-added services at this facility, such as palletisation, packing and kitting.

The state-of-the-art facility with modern WMS will provide customers with accurate and real-time visibility of their inventory. Full traceability using lot, batch, and serial numbering will ensure efficient movement of goods. Ultimately, the optimised operations using technology will aid in reducing waste and inventory errors and provide an improved experience to customers.

Maersk has a clear goal of being Net Zero by 2040, and every new investment being made has deep considerations in terms of the decarbonisation of logistics. The new facility by Maersk in Douala is no exception. 100% internal lighting will be done using low-consumption LED lights, and all external lighting will be powered by solar energy. All forklifts required in the W&D operations will be battery-operated and charged using solar energy. At the beginning of operations, 15% of the site’s electricity requirements will be fulfilled by solar panels installed at the site itself, with a plan to scale up in the coming years.

Maersk’s customers will get several benefits by utilising this facility for bonded as well as non-bonded storage and distribution. Bundled with ocean transportation, customs clearances, intermodal transportation and other services, Maersk will provide truly integrated logistics solutions to its customers. Such a solution also adds greater control over supply chains and offers higher resilience. With everything put together, customers will get cost advantages, too, as all their logistics requirements get fulfilled under the same roof.

Southern West Africa encompasses the following countries: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinee and Sao Tome and Principe.

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