Lidl has come up with a way to alleviate at least part of its supply chain issues. The German discount grocer applied earlier this spring to the European Union Intellectual Property Office to use the Tailwind brand for the purposes of cargo ship transportation and delivery of goods. In other words, Lidl is in the process of establishing its own shipping operation.
According to German media sources as reported by Tradewindsnews.com, the company aims to put its own ships into service by the middle of the year. The reports cites Lidl logistics team leader Wolf Tiedemann, who said Lidl plans to continue working with its usual shipping partners but wants to be more independent.
In addition, three weeks ago Tailwind Shipping Lines appointed Peter Gronwoldt, a 40-year shipping industry veteran, to run the operation, which is planning to run services from Asia to Europe. And Alphaliner reported earlier this month that Tailwind has chartered three ships and bought another one.
Lidl, with more than 200 warehouses and distribution centers in 30 countries, has been wrestling with high freight costs and supply chain issues like other retailers around the world.
“This is a really bold move by Lidl,” according to Patrick Berglund, CEO of Xeneta, a leading ocean and air freight benchmarking and market analytics platform. “Time will tell if it’s a success, potentially penning a blueprint for others to follow as they look to free themselves from the grip of all-powerful carriers.”