In 2021, Maersk set up an inland decarbonisation programme with the aim to serve customers with end-to-end decarbonised logistics solutions. One of the most important parts of this from an emissions and customer perspective is contract logistics (warehouses and depots).
Currently, Maersk has over 280 warehouses across the globe, accounting for 5.6 million m2, and has ambitions to expand to more than 800 warehouses by 2026. Its warehouses use a hybrid-system of automation and robotics.
Maersk warehouses can be split into three main groups: Consolidation centres, deconsolidation centres and fulfilment centres.
Maersk has announced that by 2030, 90% of its contract logistics across its warehouses, depots and cold stores for scopes 1 and 2 will be green.
Reduction of energy consumption and waste
In 2022, Maersk invested in BotsAndUs, a London-based start-up which collects real-time information using fully autonomous, mobile robots to quickly process pallets at every stage in their journey throughout a warehouse. It is collaborating with Maersk in one of their warehouses, exploring automating inventory management and acceptance processes as well as improving customers’ visibility and access to inventory across facilities.
Maersk is one of the early adopters for Boston Dynamics’ robot, Stretch™, its newest robot is designed specifically for warehouses and distribution centres. It is scheduled for 2022 delivery, after running a pilot test.
Stretch unloads floor-loaded trailers and containers, works with a wide range of package types and sizes, has advanced mobility and a footprint the size of a pallet, so it is built to manoeuvre in and out of trucks and tight spaces in a warehouse. It automatically recovers cases and doesn’t need human interaction at any point. It can unload trailers at up to 800 cases per hour. Its battery allows 16 hours of operation or more on one charge.
Warehouse Management Systems
In 2021 Maersk announced a partnership with US-based software giant, JDA Software, as part of its digital transformation strategy. It uses JDA’s warehouse management system to provides visibility throughout the Maersk supply chain, improve warehousing processes and efficiency while lowering inventory costs and environmental impact. It also helps customers balance on-time delivery with the need for cost-effective distribution.
Automation and slotting
IAI Labs Technology
In November 2021 in Redlands, California, Maersk’s cross-functional innovation team started to collaborate with IAI Labs Technology to create a customized digital application for the slotting solution process in omni-channel fulfilment centres. The new AI empowered technology being prototyped enhances the storage location and distribution of items in the warehouse, saving space, boosting productivity and increasing efficiency.
In 2021 Maersk acquired HUUB, a Portuguese cloud-based logistics start-up, specializing in technology solutions for B2C warehousing for the fashion industry.
The HUUB platform manages inventory, fulfilment and delivery. At the same time, it connects with warehouses, carriers, online stores, and ERP systems in a plug & play solution.
It gives full control over inventory management – customers can see how much stock is available and control the inventory, matching supply with demand and preventing overstocking and unsustainable practices.
Eco warehouses and green electricity
Maersk is focusing on:
- Energy efficiency optimised buildings and operations
- Renewable energy installation.
From 2022 onwards, new sites will be designed as low carbon, targeting LEED ‘Platinum’, BREEAM ‘Excellent’ or equivalent accreditation. Maersk is also launching a global retrofitting programme of its existing footprint together with its vendors and partners.
Pharmaceutical warehouse, Mszczonów, Poland
Maersk launched a project in late 2020 to create a second pharmaceutical warehouse as part of its existing warehousing and distribution centre in Mszczonów near Warsaw, Poland.
It offers carbon neutral and environmentally friendly solutions and it’s the first one in Poland with BREEAM Excellent certificate. It has photovoltaic panels installed on the roof, as well as a chilled water system used to supply power to the coolers of all air handling units and fan coils. In addition, the heat recovery installation supplies the buffer tank located in the gas boiler room and the recycled heat will be used to supply heaters in air handling units during the summer. The facility will have an integrated Quality Management System, based on Good Distribution and Manufacturing Practice (GDP) and ISO certificates.