Shipping giant Maersk seeks start-ups via Israeli innovation hub

theDOCKMaersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has teamed up with theDOCK Innovation Hub, a startup accelerator in Israel that focuses on innovative maritime technologies. The Danish-based shipper will use the partnership as an opportunity to meet start-ups working on new technology specific to logistics industry improvements.

theDOCK was founded by veteran Israeli tech leaders, Hannan Carmeli and Nir Gartzman, to deliver practical innovation to port and maritime operations. The first-of-its-kind company aims to leverage local high-tech assets and technology excellence in order to position Israel as a leader in the future smart port and smart maritime sectors.

Carmeli told Port Technology International, “Automotive manufacturers have come to recognize Israel’s supreme automotive innovation capabilities, and have engaged in R&D and technology scouting activities in Israel. The shipping industry, with Maersk being the front runner, will reap similar benefits.”

Israel, with a reputation as the ‘Startup Nation’ due to its attitude towards cultivating new companies, is connecting business, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and government leaders throughout the world with the country’s people and technologies to help them solve their most pressing challenges.

After decades of conservative evolution, the logistics domain presents a sea of innovation opportunity, and Maersk is the first global shipper to tap into Israel’s innovation ecosystem. The nation is an acknowledged contributor to disruptive innovation, tapping into technologies such as IoT, big data, AI, data analytics and optimization algorithms.

Maersk recognizes this vast potential, and is investing in technology innovation as well as co-creating separate businesses together with start-ups. Newly established roles including digital and innovation officers promote open  out-of-the-box thinking and breakthrough innovation. 

Ibrahim Gokcen, Chief Digital Officer for A.P. Moller – Maersk, commented: “We intend to be the leading integrator of container logistics, providing simple solutions to complex supply chain problems. Digital innovation and partnering with software companies of all sizes including startups to accelerate our product roadmaps play key roles in delivering that ambition.”

Thomas Hougaard, Venture Partner with Maersk Growth — the business unit that develops and manages the portfolio of business development initiatives in Maersk, stated: “We are looking for opportunities to co-create the next unicorn in logistics within the areas of fighting food waste, enabling trade, securing supply chains and next-generation logistics.’  He added, “We are looking for start-ups that see value in Maersk as a partner rather than a customer, partnerships where we bring much more value than just capital. We are excited about working with theDock to help identify the right companies that want to join us on this journey.”

It’s an ideal match that will result in a win-win prospect for both Maersk and Israeli entrepreneurs.

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