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Company opens high-tech warehouse in Cameroon

Warehouse shelves with boxes on them

SUPPLYING THE NATION The new Maersk facility in Douala, Cameroon, will be used predominantly for the storage and redistribution of fast-moving consumable goods

3rd November 2023

     

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Integrated logistics company A.P Moller–Maersk, commonly referred to as Maersk, opened the doors to a brand-new and technology-driven warehousing and distribution (W&D) facility in Douala, Cameroon, in September.

Situated within the Douala Port Zone, Maersk’s new facility is the ideal site for the cargo moving in and out of one of the most important ports in the country, indeed along the West African coast, serving as a gateway to several markets within Central Africa.

“With the rapid expansion of the middle-class population in the region, there is a growing demand for goods, especially in the fast-moving consumable goods sector,” says Maersk southern West Africa MD Michel Koffi.

He adds the Port of Douala plays a crucial role in meeting this demand, as it handles over 70% of imports into Cameroon, serving both the nation’s population and its landlocked neighbours within the Central African Economic and Monetary Community.

“The conversations with our customers have revealed a gap between the demand and supply for modern W&D facilities that can provide the additional capacity needed in this market,” he says.

In response, Maersk have decided to invest in a technology-driven warehouse management system (WMS) facility.

This strategic move not only bridges the demand-supply gap, but also offers clients a cost-effective and efficient solution.

“We are expanding our logistics footprint in southern West Africa and will scale up as clients’ demands grow,” says Koffi.

Maersk’s new W&D facility in Douala will be spread over 16 000 m2 including more than 12 000 m2 covered space which can provide for more than 8 000 pallet positions.

The facility will provide for dry warehousing and distribution with a focus on deconsolidation and fulfilment.

Being a bonded facility, it will also provide for the storage of cargo in the client’s clearance process.

Maersk will also arrange for value-added services at this facility, such as palletisation, packing and kitting.

The “state-of-the-art facility” with modern WMS will provide customers with accurate and real-time visibility of their inventory.

Full traceability using lot, batch and serial numbering will ensure the efficient movement of goods.

Ultimately, the optimised operations using technology will aid in reducing waste and inventory errors and provide an improved experience to customers.

Maersk has a clear goal of being net zero by 2040, and every new investment made includes deep consideration of the decarbonisation of logistics.

The new facility by Maersk in Douala is no exception.

One hundred per cent of the internal lighting will be achieved using low-consumption light-emitting diode lights, while all external lighting will be powered by solar energy.

All forklifts required in the W&D operations will be battery-operated and charged using solar energy.

At the beginning of operations, 15% of the site’s electricity requirements will be fulfilled by solar panels installed at the site, with a plan to scale up in the coming years.

Maersk’s clients will get several benefits by using this facility for bonded as well as non-bonded storage and distribution.

Bundled with ocean transportation, clients’ clearances, intermodal transportation and other services, Maersk will provide truly integrated logistics solutions to its clients.

Such a solution also adds greater control over supply chains and offers higher resilience.

With everything put together, clients will get cost advantages, too, as all logistics requirements will be fulfilled under the same roof.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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