Maersk Line cost-cutting includes significant fleet reduction

Job cuts are also on the horizon at Maersk Group

New figures show there was a  30 percent reduction in the fleet size during the final months of 2015 (photo: iStock) New figures show there was a 30 percent reduction in the fleet size during the final months of 2015 (photo: iStock)
January 11th, 2016 10:01 am| by Philip Tees
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Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, is responding to difficult conditions in the shipping industry by drastically reducing the size of its container fleet along with planning other cost-cutting initiatives, Børsen reports.

READ MORE: Mærsk suffers 5 billion kroner drop in profits

According to figures from the analysis house Alphaliner, the company’s fleet was reduced by 30 percent in the final months of 2015.

Taking the lead with fleet reduction
Jakob Stausholm, the chief strategy and transformation officer at Maersk Line, told Børsen that Alphaliner’s figures present a dramatised picture of the development, but confirmed the company is focusing on its costs.

“We have really done everything we can to adapt our capacity,” he said.

“Clearly in the short-term we make every effort to control our costs, and here the part of our fleet that is chartered is the first place we start.”

Stig Frederiksen, a senior analyst at Nordea Markets, highlighted that other shipping firms have not yet made similarly drastic fleet reductions.

“Maersk is taking the lead and is the first to go in and take care of the serious situation in which the industry finds itself,” he said.

A number of other cost-cutting measures are also underway at Maersk, including an initiative to save 250 million dollars (about 1.71 billion kroner) annually from 2018 on sales, salary and administration costs. To this end, 4,000 jobs are expected to be made redundant by the end of 2017.

READ MORE: Maersk cutting jobs and lines