The Maersk group has partnered with Microsoft to use its cloud computing platform Azure as a single common platform shared by all its transport and logistics businesses.
The platform will be used by the group to develop digital products and services across all brands in its Transport & Logistics division.
The agreement is expected to help the company use data regarding the performance of its fleet or the repairs carried out on containers to increase its operations’ efficiency and the supply chains’ visibility and predictability, and lead to the creation of new products and revenue streams.
According to Maersk, the use of Microsoft Azure as the sole platform for all digital products allows them to be developed cost-efficiently and fast, and makes them scalable across the different brands of the division.
“Microsoft’s cloud computing services and Azure platform will improve the flow of data across the company’s operations, making it easier to create and link insights related to operations and commercial activities,” a company statement read.
Maersk expects the use of data to help it save “tens of millions of dollars to the bottom line annually”.
Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer of Maersk, said: “Our aim is to simplify and enhance visibility in supply chains by providing a seamless end-to-end digital experience for our customers.
“Microsoft Azure is the cornerstone in our digital strategy, providing one common platform shared by all our transport and logistics businesses. On Azure, we are also creating a marketplace of apps and digital products that improve operations and drive better business decisions.”
Maersk is building an app store aimed at using operational and commercial data to develop software solutions powered by advanced analytics for its Transport & Logistics division and its customers.
Gokcen said: “Eventually Maersk’s vessels and containers and other assets will be generating terabytes of data on operations and activities in real time, and machines and people will be talking to each other, learning things about our operations and our customers that we can’t even imagine now — and they’ll be available as products, for download.”
Maersk’s business unit for supply-chain solutions Damco recently launched several digital supply-chain solutions built on Azure, with the next app to be launched being for Customs House Brokerage.
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft, said: “We’re excited to enable Maersk to harness the data from the world’s biggest fleet of container ships, and help them drive the digital transformation of an age-old industry.”