Maersk CCO Reveals Impact of Hamburg Süd Consolidation

Following its acquisition of Hamburg Süd, Maersk Line is set to gain a significant position in Latin America and in Oceania, Maersk CCO Vincent Clerc has told Bloomberg Markets.

In a wide-ranging interview, the Chief Commercial Officer of the world’s largest container shipping company spoke about the shipper’s strategy for growth in 2018, consolidation and shipbuilding in Korea.

Despite recent bankruptcies in the industry and continuing consolidation, he was optimistic about future growth at Maersk.

Clerc said: “The fundamentals for the industry have improved dramatically in 2017.

“There is strong demand for the thing that we do; trade is growing at a pace that is faster than what we’ve seen for the past two years and we expect that to continue in the coming couple of years.”

Having begun integrating with former competitor Hamburg Süd, Clerc stated that one big question is whether the industry will have the resilience to have capacity restrictions.

Clerc commented: “We have made quite public our intentions to become a global leader of container logistics to integrate and connect our customer’s supply chain.

“We want to work on offering a lot more array of products and developing outside just the ocean products. This is our main focus right now, along with Hamburg Süd.”

In response to questions about what will drive the recovery, Clerc said that the answer was not yet clear as it was difficult to separate the compounding impacts of a pick up in global trade, or current consolidation.

However, for Maersk, Clerc pointed to consolidation as having a “positive effect”, especially after its acquisition of Hamburg Süd.

He said: “We are gaining a very significant position in Latin America and in Oceania where we are really able to reinforce our offering and we will be able to, alone, to offer an array of products that is actually unmatched in the industry.

“We have 750 vessels and we feel that we have the capacity that we need to be able to cope with the demands of our customers for the next few years.”