3PLs prepare to catch Damco shippers jumping ship

container terminal

A.P. Moller-Maersk’s (OTCMKTS: AMKBY) announcement earlier this week that it will integrate the air cargo and less-than-container-load (LCL) services of its subsidiary Damco into the Maersk brand has some customers checking their options.

Shippers remain unclear how the absorption of Damco into Maersk will impact their overall logistics contracts with the longtime third-party logistics services provider (3PL), as well as what will happen to the customer service staff who were dedicated to their shipping requirements.

Other 3PLs say they are prepared for a possible migration of shippers from Damco.

“The last thing shippers need at present is further uncertainty,” said Thorsten Meincke, a member of DB Schenker’s management board for air and ocean freight, in a statement on Friday.

“We are making an offer to all those who are now looking for long-term security and reliability,” he added.

DB Schenker said it approved a “stability package” for those shippers specifically impacted by Maersk’s announcement, which includes an offer to take over short-term service agreements with up to two-month contract periods that match those agreed by Damco.

The German 3PL also said it “pledges to provide prioritized quotes on short notice” to former Damco customers.

Other large freight forwarders and ocean freight consolidators are also opening their doors to former Damco customers.

BDP is willing and actively creating strategies to accommodate any customers that will be displaced or incur service disruptions,” Lance Malesh, the Philadelphia-based 3PL’s chief commercial officer, told American Shipper. “We have a well-established transition process that can quickly on-board new clients in a quick time frame and focuses on minimizing any supply chain disruption.”

Since 2018, Damco has increased its focus on the air and ocean LCL logistics business. The 100-year-old 3PL came under the Maersk umbrella in 2005 when the container carrier acquired P&O Nedlloyd.

“During this time, it has become apparent through close customer engagements that the value proposition of Maersk can be greatly enhanced with the expansion of multiple modes of transport,” Maersk said in a statement.

However, since Maersk uses its own container assets, it will no longer pursue the full-container-load “multi-carrier” non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) service offering once provided by Damco, the company said.

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.