Since A.P Moller – Maersk was founded as a Danish steamship company in 1904, the company has grown to become a sprawling multinational business conglomerate and the largest shipping container carrier in the world. Over the course of its 112 year history, Maersk has expanded from the shipping industry into oil and energy as well. Now, in an effort to combat growing pains and remain competitive in a changing market, Maersk has announced that it will split into two distinct divisions—an energy division, and a transport and logistics division.
“The industries in which we are operating are very different, and both face very different underlying fundamentals and competitive environments,” said Maersk Chairman of the Board Michael Pram Rasmussen in a statement. “Separating our transport and logistics businesses and our oil and oil related businesses into two independent divisions will enable both to focus on their respective markets.”
A number of industry analysts have speculated that the move will allow Maersk to aggressively pursue acquisitions in its shipping and logistics division, while hedging its bets in an energy division that’s suffered as a result of historically low oil prices. By bolstering its shipping and logistics division, Maersk’s energy division may be better able to weather the storm until oil prices rebound.
The move also comes at an important time in shipping industry history. Many small container carriers have been losing money for years, creating opportunities for larger companies like Maersk to acquire their assets and consolidate their business. In the wake of Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy, we may see Maersk seize upon this opportunity to acquire a large chunk of the defunct Korean company’s assets. Many economists hope that this kind of consolidation will ultimately help to stabilize the global shipping industry.
Stay tuned for more updates on the global shipping and logistics industry from Western New York’s premier source for freight forwarding, warehousing, cross-border shipping and more—SPEED Global Services.