"I’m just writing to confirm that all four containers were loaded on board the ship yesterday", wrote DSV’s freight forwarder, Mia. "We’ll keep you updated with the ship’s progress".
Household goods retailer Imerco had several urgent containers to ship to Europe from China. But it was Chinese New Year, when there is extra pressure on shipments out of the country as capacity can be restricted and a backlog can easily build up. Like so many other people in China do, port workers take vacation to visit family at New Year and that means vastly reduced capacity in ports as business virtually shuts down. It is not unusual for shipments to be delayed a week or two as a result.
The containers contained Norwegian-designed Cathrineholm enamel cookware for a new product launch. Imerco had invested heavily in a marketing campaign, including TV ads, so a delay would not only mean a financial cost, but also disappointed customers.
In a competitive industry, saying "out of stock" to customers is not what a retailer wants to have to say. Imerco’s logistics manager Jan Kaya-Mortensen wanted personal assurance that everything would go well – and he got it.
It’s nice to see DSV using their brain and their muscles to get the job done – especially as it was Chinese New Year. Please give my regards to your staff in China for their extra effort.
Imerco's Logistics Manager, Jan Kaya-Mortensen
The worry was that the containers might not get loaded on to the ship and would have to wait for the next one. And similarly, that the containers might need to be unloaded at a transit port and then not make it back onto the same ship, causing another delay.
Mia made a few calls to colleagues in China and to the carrier, asking them to reserve space on the ship for this particular shipment. "It was all part of the service", she says. "Helping customers helps make the job worthwhile".
Imerco is a Danish retail chain selling homeware and cookware. Founded in 1928 by a group of 28 ironmongers, it now has 150 shops as well as a webshop.