Skou: We Are Not Planning Any Acquisitions in Ocean Space in 2019

Maersk LineImage Courtesy: Maersk

Danish transportation and logistics giant Maersk doesn’t see a strong need to pursue mergers and acquisitions in the following year, according to the company’s CEO Søren Skou.

As explained, the company has over 20 pct market share on the long-haul trades, which provides it with a competitive cost structure, removing the need to look into acquisitions.

The world’s largest shipping company is in the process of integration of German liner Hamburg Süd, which is progressing faster than planned. Maersk expects integration synergies to reach at least USD 500 million by 2019, excluding integration cost.

Furthermore, the company plans to continue with capital discipline in the coming quarters.

“We are not planning to order any large ships before at the earliest of 2020 or invest in second-hand vessels,” Skou said. This also relates to new major terminal investments expected until at least 2020.

During Q3, Maersk assigned USD 80 million for the installation of scrubbers and retrofitting on a selected part of the containership fleet as part of the plan to comply with the new sulphur regulations from January 2020.

Skou did not want to reveal the number of vessels that will be fitted with scrubbers during today’s conference call, stressing that the company’s compliance strategy with the sulphur cap would entail burning 0.5 percent low sulphur fuel on vast majority of its vessels.

Commenting on the impact of the U.S. tariffs on Chinese imported goods that are set to enter into force in 2019 and the brewing trade war between the two world majors, Skou said that Maersk Line would take out capacity from its Transpacific trade around the Chinese New Year to accommodate for the expected slowdown in demand.

However, the company’s other trades are not expected to be affected by the ongoing trade tensions.

World Maritime News Staff

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