A new challenge to mega-retailer Amazon comes from a Dutch shipping company with its own big footprint in international delivery, and a name that’s familiar to many Americans.
Today, Laura Hautala at CNet is ahead of the curve with a ground-breaking piece on how Maersk plans to build its “port-to-door” service to challenge the near-monopoly on extra-mile fulfillment that Amazon is typically known for
Through a subsidiary called Visible, Maersk plans to be able to reach American households with port-delivered items in two days, matching, as Hautala writes, the current trend, where speed of delivery is paramount and demanded by consumers.
As of yet, the project is still in its infancy – where Maersk claims to have 700 ships in transit, Visible, at this time, has an estimated nine warehouses.
However, the company is looking to participate more heavily in a fulfillment industry estimated at $78 billion annually, where Amazon had a dominant 40% of all deliveries in 2020.
“It’s going to create a new competitive environment,” said attorney Carlos Rodriguez, as quoted in Hautala’s coverage.
Part of the reason that sellers might switch to an Amazon alternative is the lack of white label branding opportunity that applies to Amazon deliveries. With Amazon’s own logo stuck all over everything, merchants find themselves stuck with second billing.
Maersk is also pursuing other initiatives as well, such as a blockchain project with IBM.
“The container market has been hit hard by financial woes over the last decade and is crying out for cost-cutting schemes, writes an unnamed author at Climateer Investing. “In response, Maersk is in the process of developing a blockchain initiative in partnership with IBM. This will be the equivalent of unclogging a smoker’s arteries as information will flow smoothly, unhampered by the convoluted paper trail previously involved in a single voyage.”
But in the end, it may be Maersk’s challenge to Amazon that gets the most attention as e-commerce continues to evolve.