How Maersk built a predictable end-to-end solution to transport cherries from Chile to China.

A female processing cherries in a factory

The customer

The customer is a leading Chinese importer/exporter of fruits. The company runs more than 10 wholesale stores across China and delivers tons of quality fruits every day! In the process, they serve thousands of supermarkets and fruit stores. Their fresh fruits continue to delight millions of consumers globally.

The customer aims to transform into a world-class fruit customer and was looking for a reliable logistics partner – one that could deliver fresh fruits to and from distant lands. Considering our reach and expertise, the customer entrusted us with delivering farm-fresh cherries from Chile for the Chinese New Year.

A multi-faceted challenge

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Low efficiency

A long and multi-linked (fragmented) supply chain meant that excess time was spent negotiating each node. This affected supply chain mobility and lowered the overall logistics efficiency. The staggered mobility increased the transportation time of something as time-critical as cherries.
Two arrows pointing at each other

Information asymmetry

The multiple links of the supply chain disrupted the flow of information. Pertinent information, across links, was not easily accessible to stakeholders. Supply chain visibility was low as different links could not work closely with each other. That’s why the supply chain could not respond to demand fluctuations in a timely manner. Uneven coordination between the various links rendered the entire supply chain prone to bottlenecks.
Truck for cold chain solution

Absence of a customised solution

The overall logistics market provided standardised scheduled products. Unavailability of a solution that met the actual requirements of customers at a specific time, on a specific route, limited optimisation of supply chains.

Put simply, our customer could not predict the health of cherries upon their arrival in China.

Maersk truck

A one-of-its-kind solution

The supply chain complexities called for a customised end-to-end logistics solution that could preserve the freshness of cherries throughout their journey from Chile to China.

Leveraging an integrated approach, we offered the customer a tailor-made 5-step solution that was an effective mix of our Ocean and Inland Transport, Customs Services and digital innovations. Our solution offered the customer a range of benefits, including:

Pictogram symbolising end-to-end process

End-to-end cold chain management

  • Simplified supply chain owing to a single integrated logistics provider.
  • End-to-end accountability and ownership with respect to quality of delivery.
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Single-point contact window

  • Reduction in operating cost due to proactive and timely supply chain management.
  • Avoidance of unexpected operational scenarios.

Total visibility and transparency

  • Access to real-time data that enabled informed decision-making.
  • Reduction in risks due to pre-communication.
Dollar in a circle

Predictable cost

  • Fixed cost ensured by a pre-planned operational procedure.
  • Ability to foresee the variable cost associated with Customs Brokerage (CHB).

Optimisation of logistics performance

  • Appropriate supply chain cost.
  • Improved service quality and efficiency, especially in terms of overall lead time.
A lady picking cherries

The result

The customer added to the Chinese New Year festivities by ensuring farm-fresh cherries reached market on time and in peak condition.

The customer was extremely satisfied with the predictability of our composite solution. The end-to-end integration of our offerings, including single booking window in Chile, customs clearance in China and delivery to the domestic market impressed the customer and its suppliers.

The chartered vessel provided the cherry suppliers in Chile a unique logistics channel and strengthened the customer’s image as an industry leader. Spurred by the efficiency of the solution, the customer is reimagining logistics between Chile and China for agro produce.

We’re excited to partner the customer for developing creative logistics solutions that’ll transform fruit transportation. The synergistic venture promises to establish a predictable, more efficient, convenient and intelligent international cold chain that facilitates the development of global fruit trade.

Take the next step with Maersk

Our highly experienced Cold Chain Logistics team can help you deliver time-sensitive commodities with predictable efficiency. Take the next step with us for supply chain and logistics solutions that work to take your business to the next level.


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