Hamburg: Two days ago Beijing gave the green light for the merger between German containerline Hapag-Lloyd and Chile’s CSAV, paving the way for integration to start in earnest, something Hapag-Lloyd’s new Dutch ceo, Rolf Habben Jansen, thinks will not be too difficult.
Habben Jansen stars on the cover of the latest issue of Maritime CEO magazine which launches today.
He says, “Integration won’t take too long.” Hapag-Lloyd systems will be rolled out across all CSAV operations soon, he says. Hamburg will be the headquarters of the enlarged company while CSAV’s headquarters in Valparaiso will become the head of South American operations.
Habben Jansen points out that Hapag-Lloyd’s takeover of CP Ships nine years ago was “one of shipping’s best integrations”.
The word ‘consolidation’ has become one of the most used in shipping as 2014 comes to a close with a host of high profile mergers – from brokers to owners. Habben Jansen is not averse to bolstering the Hapag-Lloyd brand, but not for any price. “We would like to play an active role in any further consolidation,” he says, “but only if the right opportunity comes by. We can be successful without it.”
The merged company of Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV will have around 200 vessels with a total capacity of approximately 1m teu, transporting some 7.5m teu every year, making it the fourth largest boxline in the world.
While many of his peers remain wary of rates prospects for 2015, Habben Jansen is hopeful.
“It is important to look not just at the number of ships, but to look at ports, congestion, inland issues, the costs of low sulphur, and so on,” he says, adding: If I were a betting man, I’d expect rates next year to be somewhat higher.” Volatility will remain however.
Habben Jansen is one of more than 20 shipowners covered in the latest issue of the magazine. The packed final issue of 2014 also takes a look at the advent of Google Cars and muses whether shipping should be doing more to harness the power of information technology in an especially spicy Executive Debate.
The magazine contains regular snapshots of the world’s leading economies, a stellar cast of analysts providing unique statistics and predictions for the various shipping sectors as well as our lighter side of the magazine at the back, the Lifestyle section, which this time includes a guide to Christmas wines, a high-tech beer home brewing kit, golf, yachting and a guide to Seattle.
On the back page of the magazine are the results of the latest MarPoll, our online survey, which this edition garnered a remarkable 721 votes and some very interesting points of view on topical issues.