Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping line, will double its warehousing presence in India in the next one year, propelled by its recent acquisition of LF Logistics, a senior executive said.
Maersk has been looking to enhance its presence as a 360-degree logistics player. To that end, it recently acquired Hong Kong-based LF Logistics in August for $3.6 billion.
“Maersk, including LF Logistics, will have a total of 19 warehouses with a total footprint of 2.68 million square feet by the end of 2022 (in India),” Ryan Best, Maersk’s regional head of logistics & services for West Central Asia, told ET in an interview.
“Our ambition is to add another 14 sites in the next year and more than double the total footprint in warehousing to 5.38 million square feet by end of 2023,” he added.
Maersk and LF plan to enhance their warehousing space in India by three times in the next 3-4 years, said Prem Ramachandran, managing director of LF Logistics in India.
“As of 2017-18, we embarked on our logistics and service journey. We made it very clear that that’s something that we were making an investment on. Since 2018, we started investing in warehouses. In 2022, we had 28 warehouses in this region and close to 13 or 14 of those were in India,” said Best, acknowledging that Maersk’s presence in the B2C warehousing space has been limited yet. It will now be enhanced by LF Logistics.
“With the acquisition of LF, it puts us in a fantastic position to effectively join our footprint. That accelerates customer transformation. It gives us the opportunity to leverage world class capabilities in the omnichannel space,” he said.
Globally, Maersk has 35 million square feet of warehouses and LF adds another 29 million square feet, said Best. Following the acquisition, Maersk will add 223 warehouses to the existing portfolio, bringing the total number of facilities to 549 globally.
LF is a contract logistics company in the omnichannel B2C space.
Such scalability is key, Ramachandra said, as some of its retail customers are scaling up “at a rate of 300%”.
“On a busy day, we are touching 200,000 customers a day (in India), compared to 40,000 on a normal day,” said Ramachandra. Maersk has been in India for 20 years. It offers regular services to and from 15 of India’s main ports, as well as 45 inland acceptance depots and 25 sales offices.