Interview with Mr. Lars Sorensen

Face2Face
Mr. Lars Sorensen
Mr. Lars Sorensen
Managing Director
Maersk Logistics (S.A.)
Maersk Logistics (S.A.)

Maersk Logistics is a recognised and leading logistics provider, serving customers across the globe with the network of more than 200 offices in over 90 countries. It is the Logistics arm of the A.P Moller – Maersk Group headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark with interests in Shipping, Oil and Gas, and Retail amongst others. The company offers customised and integrated solutions for Import/Export Logistics, Supply chain management and Development, Warehousing and Distribution, Landside Services, Ocean Freight, Airfreight. Mr. Lars Sorensen is the Managing Director of Maersk Logistics South Asia Area with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan and the Maldives under his purview. On personal front Lars is married, has three children and lives in Stavanger. Fibre2fashion extends a warm welcome to him in Face2Face where he shares more about global transport and logistics market.

Can we start with a brief introduction of your company and its line of operation?

"I head the South Asia Area for Maersk Logistics, one of many regions that our worldwide operations are divided into. Maersk Logistics is an integral part of the Denmark based A. P. Moller – Maersk Group of companies, our business interests amongst others include Shipping, Port Operations, Oil and Gas and Retail.Maersk Logistics is a recognised and leading logistics provider, serving customers across the globe. We offer customised and integrated solutions for: Supply chain management, Warehousing and distribution, Landside services, Ocean freight and Airfreight.We have the expertise to understand the nature and dynamics of our client’s business. And we combine international logistics knowledge, sophisticated information solutions, and a global office network to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our client’s supply chain."

What trends do you foresee in the global transport and logistics market?

"In the globalised world, Asia today is the manufacturing hub – with China and lately India heading the low cost, high quality demands of the west, the need today for a wide range of products mass produced and at a cost advantage is at an all time high and will head in only one direction in the foreseeable future and that is up. Invariably shipping and logistics industry is growing in line with the demands for transportation solutions. Given the fragmented nature and the lack of infrastructure in the logistics industry in this part of the world, we see a substantial opportunity to assist our customers in improving their supply chain and to make it more cost effective. There is a new momentum, favorable policies, encouraging growth and entrepreneurship in various sectors, opening up of the economy, investments in infrastructure development, stable governance - all these factors feeding of one another have set the Indian economy on an irreversible growth path, and the entire region is following through in its wake. We set up our first office in India in 1992, and have grown alongside India’s economy, today we are represented through our own offices at 12 locations spread across the country, and plans for further expansion are in the works as we speak Logistics involves the transportation of goods and at the same time the exchange of information about those goods, from purely moving goods from A to B, Logistics today has evolved into a science – it is one of the critical factors that decide the success or failure of a product and is every bit a part in the life of a product from the time a demand is forecasted and to the time goods reach the end user, the key words in between these two events being speed and transparency or visibility – which is where we come in- our expertise allows clients to track their cargo at any given time from anywhere in the world."

Which of your regions has the highest growth potential?

Asia as a whole has a strong potential.

Are the incidents of goods lost in transit affecting your operations in anyway and to what extent?

Our systems and checks at various stages from the moment cargo is received to the moment it reaches the consignee ensures there is no loss or pilferage, if it still happens then the responsible agency will be held accountable – we also have a separate claims department that will evaluate any loss and affix responsibility to the erring side.

We understand that Maersk has entered retail sector, too. What are the reasons for this change and what are your future plans in this sector?

Maersk’s foray into retail is at this time limited only to Europe, Dansk Supermarked our foray in retail is the second largest food and general merchandise store in Denmark, and outside Denmark we have stores in England, Poland, Germany and Sweden.

What are the major obstacles that a logistics company has to face in the current environment?

Our only concern is the mismatch between the infrastructural aspects and the general economic growth that the country is presently experiencing. Things have to improve and fast in order not to loose out.

What are the key industry sectors your company wishes to focus and what role do they play in your business progress?

Our policy is not to comment on future plans and projects but we will certainly ensure that you are kept informed on when and if any project materializes.

How decisive is the investment in efficient data processing, particularly for small and medium-sized companies?

"It is very important, Maersk has always invested resources in developing new systems and we are today amongst the best because of this. Any business that plans to lead from the front has to invest in efficient data processing be it small, medium or large."

What distinguishes Maersk from its competitors?

"Our employees and our systems, our employees are amongst the best in the industry and are constantly trained to take Maersk Logistics to the next level and they are assisted by our systems and procedures which have been standardised across the globe while allowing for local influences. There is an obsession with perfection within the company and this invariably makes sure that timelines are met."

Your tracking service has been upgraded recently. What are the new features added to it?

In mid 2005 we rolled out a system called Spective, Spective is a customized visibility solution catering to our customers needs. Spective incorporates the latest technology available to provide our clients with the tools to measure monitor and manage their supply chain more effectively. It consolidates information from any number of external service providers including CHA’s, Truckers, Logistics service providers, banks, warehousing, airfreight etc. All information is aggregated and synchronized to provide both Purchase Order visibility and a virtual inventory of product throughout the supply chain. This is one of the premiere supply chain management tools available in the market, and goes above and beyond tracking cargo.
Published on: 24/10/2006

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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