Monday, August 17, 2009

Slump in Container and Tanker Shipping hurts Maersk

Acquisitions seen as best way to ride out the storm
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – AP Moeller-Maersk, who announced management changes on Friday, are set to record their first ever full year loss in 105 years of trading. There has been a fall in the company’s fortunes across the full spectrum of its major trading areas.

Maersk’s core container shipping division lost almost $560 million in the first three months of the year. The company’s tanker division is now the largest such operation in the world, having taken over Broström earlier this year. The oil and gas division will now be run by Mr Jakob Thomasen, formerly chief of the groups Qatar operation and a Maersk employee for 21 years.

CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen has spoken on the need to ensure the groups future by exploiting the demise of smaller competitors. It's his avowed intent to buy up insolvent companies and acquire redundant vessels when they become available.

Andersen believes that this policy is the most economic means to the groups continued expansion, this despite the possibility that Maersk will part with their passenger and ferry business. They are also committed to invest heavily in new facilities and vessels, particularly in Africa and South America.