maersk shipping investments in 2015

A Look Back at Maersk Shipping Investments in 2015

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.

Economic Growth.

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.

belt and road maersk china investment

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.

United States.

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

Fleet Efficiency.

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.

Shipping Vessels.

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.

Shipping Containers.

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.

maersk mci reefer container factory

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.

The result of Maersk’s new corporate attitude has been well thought-out, strategic investments that have delivered record profits and impressive returns to investors.

hapag lloyd plan for success

Hapag Lloyd’s Three-Part Plan For Container Shipping Success

Thus far, 2015 has been a year of significant growth for Hapag-Lloyd. The company’s rising revenues, fleet numbers, and investor confidence are all signs of improvement. This performance is certainly deserving of some recognition, particularly in an industry that has been repeatedly challenged for nearly a decade. Given the status of some of the company’s competitors in the container shipping industry, Hapag-Lloyd’s performance is more than admirable.

hapag lloyd makes up ground on competition

We have good momentum, our results have improved and we have made up ground versus our competition.- Chief Executive Officer, Hapag-Lloyd

This past year (2014-2015) has seen Hapag-Lloyd implement a strategy that will keep the company competitive for many years to come. The plan involves establishing key partnerships, raising funds for international expansion, the purchasing of larger container ships and investing in containers.

Establish Partnerships.

In April of 2014, Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV approved a merger that resulted in the world’s fourth largest container shipping line. This acquisition helped Hapag-Lloyd reach new markets and achieve higher profits for much of 2015.

Fact: Following the acquisition of Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV), Hapag-Lloyd reported its first interim profit in three years, recording €157 million for the first half of 2015.

Investment For Expansion.

After completing the takeover of CSAV, Hapag-Lloyd was able to raise 370 million euros ($430 million) from two of its biggest shareholders. In December 2014, billionaire Klaus-Michael Kuehne provided 111 million euros and CSAV added another 259 million euros.

In September 2015, Hapag-Lloyd began a $400 million IPO process that, with an investment from two of its core stakeholders – CSAV and Kuhne Maritime, increased $100 million, to $500 million.

The IPO is an important milestone for Hapag-Lloyd … good for our customers, our people and our shareholders.- Chief Executive Officer, Hapag-Lloyd

Improve Maritime Fleet.

As mentioned earlier, the intention of the added investment (and IPO) was primarily to allow Hapag-Lloyd to use the proceeds to fund “further investments in ships and containers.” That was their intention, and that is what they have done.

Scheduled for delivery between October 2016 and May 2017, Hapag-Lloyd ordered five 10,500 TEU container ships in April 2015. Outfitted with 2,100 refrigerated plugs each, the new container ships will transport fruit, vegetables, fish and pharmaceutical products in the South American market.

Hapag-Lloyd’s merger with CSAV introduced the container shipping leader to the Latin American marketplace. To capitalize on new-found opportunities in South American trade, Hapag-Lloyd ordered 6,000 reefer containers in August 2015. This container investment is expected to provide the resources necessary to transport certain fruits and vegetable from areas like Brazil, to major shipping ports around the world.

hapag-lloyd reefer fleet is growing

With our enhanced reefer fleet, we are ideally positioned for the Latin American trade, which is an important part of the reefer business.- Chief Executive Officer, Hapag-Lloyd

Smooth Waters Ahead.

It is not only company profits that are upbeat. The CEO maintains a positive outlook on the future of the container shipping industry, as well. According to the chief executive of Hapag-Lloyd, the chronic overcapacity that has consistently contributed to the extreme rate volatility and lower carrier earnings on major container shipping routes, is set to ease. This is more great news for Hapag-Lloyd and shipping industry investors.