Maersk Eye Chinese Opportunities


Danish shipping giant Maersk Group is looking to work with Chinese firms as it seeks opportunities in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, according to Chinese state-owned press agency Xinhua.

Maersk’s terminal-operating arm APM Terminals’ recent decision to construct a multipurpose terminal in Qingdao is said to be an example of how the company is looking to work with Chinese firms in the Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the Maritime Silk Road.

Tim Smith, Chairman of Maersk China, said: “We're very keen to try to partner with Chinese companies in those new infrastructure projects.”

Mr Smith believes that the Belt and Road is “the only big scheme we can see where political leaders are trying to do something to develop more demand.”

Global demand took a hit recently as container freight rates and oil prices took a plunge and led to a profit loss of around 50% for the world’s biggest shipping company.

Maersk is still said to be exploring opportunities in terminals, towage operations and the shipbuilding business in China, potentially in a bid to rectify ailing profits.

Tim Smith continued: “We're much on the lookout for new investment opportunities in China in this (terminal) market. We still think China will be a strong market for trade for decades to come.”

The group’s shipping unit recently outlined how they wanted to focus on consolidation and cut capacity along key routes.

Maersk is also ready to maintain partnerships with Chinese shipyards, having booked 20 vessels from Chinese ship builders in the past 14 months.

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