Maersk’s ‘Superior’ Performance Tactics Revealed


Maersk Line’s financial slump was evident in August, 2015, after the announcement that its profits had shrunk by around 8%. However, the company remains the world’s leading shipping line as a result of its ‘superior cost structure’, according to the South China Morning Post.

PTI previously reported that Maersk had announced to invest more money into containerships and equipment in order to make itself more competitive in the container shipping market.

The carrier is planning to invest around US$15 billion over the coming years.

Tan Hua Joo, Analyst at Consultancy Alphaliner, said that Maersk's success lies within its superior cost structure.

He said: “Market share gains are secondary, and in any case are easily earned if carriers are prepared to slash freight rates.

“Maersk's superior performance is largely due to their superior cost structure and that can be attributed to several key factors, including an expansive global network, control of key hub ports, economies of scale and size with the deployment of some of the most efficient ships in each trade lane they operate in.” 

Van Trooijen detailed that cost saving was hardly a simple exercise, adding: “It is scrutinising the way you work. From the way your ship sails to how you contract terminal services, there is a whole array of decisions to be made, and eventually make cost saving a lifestyle. It has taken us years of work to make that culture systemic in the organisation.”

Robbert Van Trooijen, CEO of Maersk Line North-Asia, said: “If you don't change the way you work, you won't be able to take full advantage of cheaper bunker fuel. There's no one single recipe on how to save costs. It's systemic behavioural change to address every single cost element in your organisation.” 

The world’s leading line is currently in the process of adapting its vessel utilisation strategy in a bid to become more efficient across various trade routes.

Its total fleet capacity is well over the three million TEU mark, with its parent company Maersk group currently worth in excess of US$40 billion.

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