Although industry analysts predicted a challenging year for the global container shipping sector, Maersk has amazed us by demonstrating strong leadership in its pursuit of better performance and bigger profits.
In 2015, the investment approach taken by Maersk has predominately focused on two things: economic growth and fleet efficiency.
Recognizing the slowdown and recovery in some parts of the world, Maersk has made strategic investments in regions that have demonstrated prosperity since 2008 and have shown real potential for the future.
Officials at Maersk are moving ahead with plans to build and upgrade shipping ports in Nigeria and Kenya. In additional to their interest in Mombasa (Kenya), and a new $2 billion port at Badagry (Nigeria), Maersk is also working with Ghana’s ports authority on a $1 billion expansion at Tema port.
One of the largest shipping initiatives underway today is China’s Maritime Silk Road, also known as the One Belt, One Road project, which is expected to lead to a lot of new infrastructure projects in the countries to the west of China.
We are very keen to try to partner with Chinese companies in those new infrastructure projects … [the Belt and Road is] the only big scheme we can see where political leaders are trying to do something to develop more demand.- Chairman of Maersk China and Chief Representative of Maersk Group North Asia
Latin America, Spain, and Turkey
An investment in Spanish container terminal operator Grup Maritim TCB in Q3 of 2015 added 11 terminals in Turkey, Spain, and Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil) to APM Terminals’ portfolio of 74 Terminals worldwide. The estimated additional container traffic generated by the investment is 3.5 billion per year.
A powerhouse of the global economy, the United States has been able to maintain the steady pace of its own recovery since the Global Financial Crisis struck in 2008-2009. Key logistical areas, like Jaxport in Florida and the port of Baltimore in Maryland, have seen a renewed interest from Maersk Line. So much so, that the company resurrected the historic SeaLand shipping service in early 2015
In today’s global container shipping market the challenge to make money is greater than the challenge is to save money. This has meant a strong focus on efficiency at every aspect of Maersk’s shipping business.
After the Maersk McKinney Moller transported a record-breaking cargo of 18,168 TEUs at the beginning of 2015, Maersk set their sights on improving fleet efficiency by introducing even larger container ships. Early reports from industry sources suggested the company was considering an ambitious investment into 20,000 TEU vessels.
In March of 2015, Maersk Line began a $15 billion ship investment program, with an initial order for seven ice-class container ships. This was quickly followed by a $1.8 billion investment in June of 2015 for 11 second generation Triple-E container vessels, with a capacity of 19,630 TEU each.
Announced in Mid-November 2015, Maersk Container Industry (MCI) – an independent business unit within the Maersk Group, has begun to produce its own refrigerated containers and Star Cool refrigeration machines, to be distributed locally “from factory to farm.”
The company’s new MCI facility in San Antonio, Chile, offers the Star Cool Integrated reefers to local shipping lines, farmers, fruit distributors, and container leasing companies.
The factory is designed for a potential future sale of 40,000 reefers by 2020, all under one roof.- Chief Executive Officer of MCI
Maersk’s New Corporate Attitude.
Maersk’s success in 2015 has come from carefully scrutinizing the way the company operates and implementing a cost-saving corporate attitude. This approach has included critiquing everything from the manner in which they sail their shipping vessels, to how they perform their container terminal services.