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Firms detail how global logistics survived coronavirus onslaught

By Dominic Omondi - May 26th 2022
One of the World's largest cargo vessels MV Poseidon sails through the Likoni Channel in the Indian Ocean waters of Mombasa on February 26,  2015. [File, Standard] 

The resulting shortage of components from China impacted manufacturing operations overseas.

And the headache did not end there for Kenya. The testing of truck drivers on the borders between Uganda and Tanzania caused huge traffic, denying households and factories essential goods.

“We have a very sophisticated logistics function for our business and that logistic function was in complete coordination with the Maersk. In 2020, we had one of our best shipping years,” said Mr Flowers.

Mr Ochieng explained that Maersk had a global reaction to Covid-19 that was really classic.

“They retained their commitment to their customers, starting from what we could see in terms of good service levels, good provision of containers, especially refrigerated containers for our avocado business but more importantly dry containers for our tea business as well,” said Ochieng.  

Asif gave an example of how they booked a ship from Amsterdam but, unfortunately, due to restrictions at the port they could not meet the requirement so they were forced to offload their cargo in Germany.

From Germany, they had to truck the cargo into Amsterdam.

Mr Boodia noted that when most of the vessels were not on time and were delayed, Maersk was still on schedule.

“I can say 95 per cent of their vessels were on schedule.”

“We owned the initial inland value chain, the transport of tea from our factories to our warehouse, the managing of that warehouse then the transition of that into the export process,” said Ochieng.

Maersk also has a reputation for engaging the forwarder, and the transporter and they also provide the shipping and attend to other issues within the port and the transhipment port, said Alex Kariuki, the Logistic Manager, Kakuzi.

Consequently, added Kariuki, Maersk ensures that Kakuzi’s code chain is not broken all the way between the time the fruit is picked to the time the fruit is delivered to the cosigners.

 “Their equipment is new, they have the best technology especially if you look at their CA containers and they are using the best containers, clients are happy, and they are maintaining their transit time and also the lobby office is very supportive, all issues are addressed in time, and that is what we are looking for when we are dealing with perishables,” said Amin.

The other attraction with Maersk, said Boodia, is the fact that they can offer special prices and services due to their professionally trained staff.

The global supply chain is not yet back to normal. There are still Covid-19 restrictions in some parts of China, with the port of Shanghai being shut down.

Although China has started to ease the restrictions, there is still a large backlog.

Moreover, the war between Russia and Ukraine has added to yet another logistical nightmare.

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