In the face of container shortages and port congestion, Lidl has become the latest major organisation to launch its own shipping line. According to Maritime Executive, Lidl plans to start a shipping line and buy containerships to maintain the flow of goods. Lidl filed an application with the European Trademark Office registering the brand name Tailwind Shipping Line.
According to the filing, the company intends to use the new operation for the transportation and delivery of goods, including cargo transportation, cargo ship transport, air cargo transport, import and export cargo handling services.
“We can confirm that Lidl will use some of its own sea freight capacities in the future. This is another building block for securing our supply chains and the availability of goods in our branches,” a spokesman for the company told the German publication Manager Magazin.
Reports indicate that the retailer currently has a volume of 400 to 500 TEU per week, presumably for its operations in Germany or across Europe. There was no indication of how many ships they might be planning to buy or what routes they plan to operate.
Lidl is not the first retailer to expand into shipping recently. Starting in 2021, the likes of Amazon, Ikea, Home Depot, and Dollar Tree have all reportedly chartered vessels to move containers from Asia.