RICHARD MORGAN

Dubai 2020 | MARITIME | INTERVIEW

Maersk is working on end-to-end supply chain services that are digitally enabled and highly innovative, supporting customers in their growth needs and adding value to their brands.

Richard Morgan
BIOGRAPHY

Richard Morgan is the Regional Managing Director of Maersk West & Central Asia, which comprises of the Maersk Liner Ocean business and the former Damco Supply Chain and Logistics business. He has spent more than 30 years in the freight forwarding, liner shipping, and supply chain industries, and 15 of those years with Maersk. Originally from Ireland, Morgan has held regional and global supply chain and commercial roles within Maersk, most recently as global chief commercial officer of Damco, a Maersk Company.

How does Maersk apply innovation to increase transparency and efficiency in shipping and supply chain solutions?
We approach innovation and technology in a number of ways. Our current vision is to become the global integrator of container logistics. That is our response to a changing industry wherein customers want more end-to-end solutions and a more managed service and product. Our website is one of the largest B2B sites, with over 35,000 users transacting 20,000 bookings daily. This online booking management is a step forward for our industry. In addition, we are working hard to bring innovative ocean products to our customers. For example, we have an online product that allows for an instant quotation, instant booking, and guaranteed space on a pre-defined vessel. We are witnessing significant volumes for this product, with the uptake developing much faster than we originally planned, particularly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and India. Moreover, we use less fuel in the shipping process, allowing for a better environmental approach to our operations. We are also building many new land-based products, including trucking, customs, storage, and warehousing. Trade finance is another emerging segment we are looking at. In the last three years, since launching our financial product, we have dispersed loans of about USD650 million to more than 200 customers, who have shipped about 60,000 containers with us in that period. Together with IBM, we have developed TradeLens, an open and neutral industry platform built on blockchain technology. Around 60% of the world's global container fleet and other shipping lines have signed up for it. Through TradeLens, we can bring a lot more transparency, reliability, and security to our client's supply chain.

How do Maersk and Dubai plan to leverage geopolitical trends?
The geopolitical situation is constantly moving, and so far, the impact has been quite manageable. We have seen shipping from China move to Southeast Asia and India. Our global presence offers us the opportunity to reassess the fleet, becoming less centered on certain markets and more diversified. We will continue to invest in China and are concentrating on Southeast Asia to create the infrastructure needed to enable faster growth. Maersk is also heavily investing in India. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest market in the world for refrigerated imports, which is why we are developing our cold chain in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We continue to invest in the Americas and Europe, where we are building our landside infrastructure to support our strategy to be the integrated, end-to-end provider. Our investment is universal, ranging from anything between Turkey and Bangladesh.

What differentiates Maersk from the competition?
The company is in a clear transformation from offering legacy, traditional freight-dominant products to becoming the global integrator of container logistics simplifying customer's supply chains. Our advantage comes in several different areas. First, we are a strong brand, perhaps the most recognized in our industry. We have become the most recognized Danish brand in the world, building trust and delivering high levels of service and innovation for our customers for 120 years. That allows us to be able to move into logistic spaces with confidence and high financial stability. With arguably the finest customer base in the world, we have recently put more effort into listening to customer feedback. We have a methodology whereby we can quickly test our offerings, listen to customer feedback, and then make the necessary modifications to create compelling customized solutions. The Middle East and Indian markets, particularly Saudi Arabia and northern India, are pilot areas for our new online guaranteed shipping product, called Maersk Spot. To accelerate the transition to carbon-neutral shipping, Maersk has set the ambitious target of having net-zero CO2 emissions from operations by 2050. We hope to inspire researchers, technology developers, investors, cargo owners and legislators to come together in co-development and sponsorship of sustainable solutions that we are yet to see in the maritime industry.