Maersk tipped to buy Hamburg Süd

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Maersk Line is lining up a bid for the world’s seventh largest containerline, Hamburg Sud.

The owners of the German line are understood to be willing to sell the line amid massive consolidation seen this year in the container shipping sector. Hamburg Sud does not belong to any existing or future container alliance.

Hamburg Süd is part of the Oetker Group, a family-owned German conglomerate involved in shipping, banking, food and beverages.

Hamburg Süd has a fleet of around 130 boxships totaling some 600,000 teu in its fleet which VesselsValue estimates is worth $1.4bn.

Maersk has recently said it is after acquisitions rather than ordering new ships. Its last containerline acquisition was back in 2005 when it bought P&O Nedlloyd.

Both Hapag-Lloyd and Cosco have previously been linked with buying Hamburg Süd, a line with an especially strong presence in Latin America.

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. Sam
    And picking up on your other Maersk story – are they hiving off their Energy business (Maersk/Dong) to pay for Hamburg Sud?

  2. I am not sure whether, if any, real network synergies might come with COSCOCS as the acquirer, although it would buy them into the Europe-Latin America trade. And Hapag is still chewing.

    Could be very interesting for Maersk, strengthening North-South trades and no major cultural issues when it comes to integration. The transition could be very fast, and that would assist to minimise market share loss which is always present during any M&A.

    Hamburg Sud (according to Alphaliner) owns 44 ships, as at a value of usd1.4b an average of usd32 a piece. Total capacity of these is 292,000 TEU, for an average of 6,636, would compliment the Maersk fleet well.

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