The case describes Maersk’s transformation from a shipping conglomerate to an end-to-end transportation and logistics services provider. It details the top management’s vision to transform operations through digitization. In addition to partnering with technology firms, Maersk has adopted the ecosystem approach to growth by attempting to become the focal service provider and investing in startups working on disruptive technologies that act as ‘complementors’ to the core service offerings of Maersk through its online platforms. The case provides details on the Maersk Growth Venture Program and the creation and benefits expected from its corporate accelerator OceanPro. It also explains how Maersk has accelerated its transformation plan with investments in more than half a dozen startups in the second half of 2018, thus attempting to quickly build a shipping logistics and supply chain ecosystem around itself and become the ‘Amazon’ of the shipping industry.
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
Examine the drivers that are leading to changes in the shipping industry.
Understand the importance of top management vision in the success of a company.
Examine the transformation initiatives and growth strategy of Maersk.
Understand the challenges and benefits of using digitization as a key element of the corporate strategy.
Describe the importance of corporate accelerator programs in digitization strategy.