Container Lines Finalize Mergers

Christening of Polar Costa Rica
Christening of Polar Costa Rica

By The Maritime Executive 12-01-2017 05:46:11

From December 1, the Hamburg Süd Group became part of Maersk Line. Hamburg Süd remains a commercially independent company with its own sales and marketing, customer service and auxiliary departments such as IT, human resources and finance and accounting. 

Together, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of 4.15 million TEUs and a 19.3 percent global fleet capacity share (Alphaliner, 27 November 2017). 105 Hamburg Süd vessels will be integrated into the fleet of Maersk Line. The combined fleet will include a total of 773 vessels (owned and chartered).

Combined, the two companies are expected to be able to realise operational synergies in the region of $350-400 million annually as from 2019.

The product range of the Brazilian Aliança, with its focus on the cabotage trade, will continue unchanged, and the subsidiaries operating in the tramp sector – Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO), Aliança Bulk (Aliabulk) and Furness Withy Chartering, as well as the Hamburg Süd Travel Agency, will also carry on their business activities as before. 

“Under this new umbrella, we can strengthen Hamburg Süd’s position worldwide in a challenging market environment, improve our market position and offer our customers many advantages,” said Dr. Arnt Vespermann, new CEO Hamburg Süd. 

Vespermann has been with Hamburg Süd for 18 years and a member of the Executive Board since 2009. He superseded as CEO the long-standing previous Chairman of the Executive Board, Dr. Ottmar Gast, who will continue to be closely associated with the company in the future as Chairman of the Advisory Board. Other members of Hamburg Süd’s Executive Board going forward are Søren Toft, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer A.P. Moller – Maersk, Frank Smet as Chief Commercial Officer and Jakob Wegge-Larsen as new Chief Financial Officer.

A year ago, Hamburg Süd’s previous owner, Dr. August Oetker KG, announced its intention to pull out of shipping and sell Hamburg Süd to Maersk. At the November 29 christening of the latest Hamburg Süd ship Polar Costa Rica in Shanghai, Dr. August Oetker, Chairman of the Advisory Board and stockholder of Dr. August Oetker KG, symbolically handed over Hamburg Süd to the sponsor, Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla, Chairwoman of the A.P. Moller Foundation and Vice Chairwoman of A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S. 

Hapag-Lloyd completes integration with UASC

Furthering container line mergers, earlier this week, Hapag-Lloyd announced that its integration of the United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is now completed. The two companies officially merged on May 24, 2017, and the following six months has involved merging operations, IT systems and fleets.

With more than 12,000 employees in five sales regions and 126 countries, as well as a fleet of 215 container ships, Hapag-Lloyd is now the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world. Beginning in 2019, Hapag-Lloyd expects annual synergies of $435 million as a result of the merger with UASC. 

CMA CGM Merges Subsidiaries

Also this week, CMA CGM says it has created a leader in multimodal solutions for the intra-Europe market by merging its subsidiaries MacAndrews and OPDR. The merger is expected to be completed on January 1, 2018 and will be headquartered in Hamburg.

Acquired by CMA CGM in 2002, MacAndrews is the oldest shipping company in Europe. It offers rail, land and maritime transport services to customers and is a specialist in container transport on short-sea routes as well as multimodal solutions in Europe. MacAndrews connects Great Britain, the Iberian Peninsula and Poland. OPDR, acquired by the CMA CGM Group in 2015, is an expert in intra-European short-sea transport and logistics. OPDR mainly covers Central Europe, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Portugal and Morocco.

MacAndrews will bring together the strengths of the two subsidiaries and will have a presence in 16 countries, 36 agencies, 595 employees and 18 services. Employment in each entity, as well as existing services, will be maintained.