Maersk eyes more acquisitions

A.P. Moller – Maersk has hinted at further acqusitions, even as it prioritises the smooth integration of new addition Hamburg Süd to its range of brands.

A.P. Møller – Mærsk released its annual results today, managing an underlying profit of $356m, compared to a loss of $496m in 2016. Revenue grew by 13%.

While Søren Skou, the CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said the smooth integration of Hamburg Süd is a “top priority” for 2018, his chairman hinted that more acquisitions are on the cards.

Jim Hagemann Snabe, appointed chairman of the company a year ago, commented: “Future growth will be based on organic growth in the individual transport and logistics businesses combined with targeted acquisitions”.

The chairman, whose background includes leading the likes of SAP and Siemens, was given the chairmanship of the company largely thanks to his perceived knowledge of digitilisation, something he and the company made clear in the annual report that they want to lead.

“The digital revolution has fundamentally impacted behaviours and trade patterns over the last 5-10 years, making its marks on many industries. However, the transport and logistics industry has not yet undergone any significant transformation,” Snabe wrote in his chairman’s comment. He continued: “We want to transform the industry by reducing the complexity. We believe it should be as easy for our customers to ship a container as it is to send a parcel with a postal carrier.” Later on in the 151-page annual report Maersk suggested a three to five year timeline as realistic for this container catch up with the parcel business.

“It is my sincere belief that this company is best positioned to front the digitization of the shipping industry,” Snabe maintained.

In his comment as CEO, Skou said he felt the container sector would go through further consolidation.

“We continue to believe that the liner industry will consolidate further, which we will benefit from, and that there is a low need for capital expenditure as future ordering is expected to stay low for the coming years,” Skou wrote.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. It is the right strategy however digitization will not deliver the expected benefits if and when the hardware such as handling capacity and hinterland connections are not following the pace. Synchromodality supported by a synchronised ICT platform is the future provided cargo can physically match digitised speed.

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