Maersk orders 11 ‘mega’ container ships

As rumoured, Maersk has ordered new massive ships in an effort to boost competitiveness in the Asa-Europe trade market.

Maersk orders 11 'mega' container ships
The new ships are capable of carrying more than 18,000 containers each. Photo: Michael Kooren/Scanpix
Danish shipping giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk said Tuesday it had agreed to buy 11 “mega” container ships for $1.8 billion (12.3 billion kroner, 1.6 billion euros) with the option to acquire another six from South Korea's Daewoo.
“These vessels will help us stay competitive in the Asia – Europe trade and will be key in our strategy to grow with the market,” chief operating officer Soren Toft said in a statement.
The 'mega' ships are 400 metres (1,312 feet) long and 58.6 metres wide and will each be capable of carrying more than 19,000 containers.
They will replace smaller, less efficient vessels and are due to be deployed between April 2017 and May 2018, the group said.
Maersk Line, the world's largest container transporter, has managed to outperform the market as the sector was hit by overcapacity after the financial crisis.
Last year it partnered with Swiss-Italian MSC under a deal similar to code-sharing agreements among airlines, allowing the companies to put cargo on each other's vessels.

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Maersk profits up as global supply chain disrupted

Danish shipping giant, AP Møller-Maersk, said Tuesday that profits were up sixfold in the third quarter as the coronavirus pandemic and global supply chain problems caused container prices to soar. 

Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. The Danish shipping company posted hefty profits in the third quarter of 2021.
Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. The Danish shipping company posted hefty profits in the third quarter of 2021. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

“Maersk delivered record earnings” in the third quarter, chief executive Soren Skou said.

“In the ongoing exceptional market situation, with high demand in the US and global disruptions to the supply chains, we continued to increase capacity and expand our offerings to keep cargo moving for our customers.” 

Maersk said that its bottom-line net profit amounted to $5.438 billion in the period from July to September, compared with $947 million a year earlier.

Underlying, or operating, profit increased nearly fivefold to $5.859 billion and revenues jumped by 67 percent to $16.612 billion.

“Results in Q3 were driven by high freight rates in an exceptional market situation,” the group said.

Looking ahead, Maersk said it is sticking to its full year forecast for operating profit of 18-19 billion dollars. 

However, the ocean shipping division “is now expected to grow below” projected global container demand of between seven and nine percent this year, “subject to high uncertainties related to the current congestion and network disruption,” Maersk said.

“The current trading conditions are still subject to a higher-than-normal uncertainty due to the temporary nature of current demand patterns, disruptions in the supply chains,” it cautioned.

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