Maersk CEO on Unmanned Ships: ‘Not In My Lifetime’
(Bloomberg) — The chief executive officer of the world’s biggest shipping company says it’s unlikely container vessels will operate without humans in his lifetime.
A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has already pushed through enough cuts to reduce crew sizes in response to the spread of automation, CEO Soren Skou said in an interview. He says the workforce has now reached a floor and there’s no more room to get rid of humans.
“Even if the technology advances, I don’t expect we will be allowed to sail around with 400-meter long container ships, weighing 200,000 tonnes without any human beings on board,” the 53-year-old CEO said. “I don’t think it will be a driver of efficiency, not in my time.”
There are more than 6,000 ships in the global container fleet and they can transport 22 million standard 20-foot boxes, industry consultant Alphaliner estimates. Ships have grown bigger, but efficiency and automation have kept crew sizes in check, meaning Maersk needs less than half as many sailors to transport a container as it did 20 years ago.
Hamburg entrepreneur Erck Rickmers has sold his ship management and ship brokerage activities. Effective January 1, 2018, Bremen-based Zeaborn Group acquired all shares in E.R. Schiffahrt GmbH & Cie. KG and shipbroker Harper Petersen & Co.
With the takeover, Zeaborn’s shipping fleet under commercial and technical management has been expanded by 61 container vessels and 20 bulk carriers to more than 165 vessels.
All staff, approximately 200 employees ashore and 2,800 at sea, will transfer to the Zeaborn Group. Nils Aden, currently chief executive officer of E.R. Schiffahrt, will be responsible for the enlarged ship management activities, while Simon Aust will continue as chief executive officer of Harper Petersen.
Once E.R. Schiffahrt with all its subsidiaries and the shipbroker Harper Petersen have been integrated, the Zeaborn Group's employee numbers will be approximately 360 staff on shore and more than 5,000 staff at sea.
The combined companies will remain headquartered in Hamburg.
“E.R. Schiffahrt and Harper Petersen are well managed and profitable businesses. The combined entity will have a critical size to operate successfully in the competitive global market place,” Rickmers said. “Consolidation among German ship management companies has long been overdue, but is needed in light of future market requirements. Zeaborn is pursuing a dynamic growth strategy that offers its customers and employees promising prospects.”
“In E.R. Schiffahrt we were able to add a well-known shipping manager to our group of companies, which is a great fit for our portfolio and with whom we can further optimize our services for our customers,” said Ove Meyer and Jan-Hendrik Többe, the Zeaborn Group’s managing partners. “With this fleet expansion, we can further improve both quality and quantity of our products and services to the benefit of our customers.”
“Our approach remains the same: we are an integrated shipping company that is open for partnerships and acquisitions. Going forward, we will continue to drive further growth thanks to our clear organizational structure, for example through the rapid integration of additional tonnage and businesses,” the partners added.
The sale of the Erck Rickmers Group’s ship management and brokerage units does not signal the group’s farewell to shipping. The group will retain involvement in the maritime industry with a total of 34 vessels fully owned or jointly financed with investors under the E.R.-flag.
The Erck Rickmers Group recently established the Blue Star Group, a new company developing shipping investments for institutional investors.
“The consolidation in the German ship management sector has long been overdue and Zeaborn is pursuing a dynamic growth strategy. E.R. Schiffahrt is a profitable company that is extremely well managed. Combined with Zeaborn’s existing activities, the company will now reach the critical size that is necessary to successfully compete on a global scale,” said Jochen Klösges, CEO of E.R. Capital Holding, in reference to the transaction, manager of Erck Rickmers’ business interests.
Carnival Cruise Line's new 133,500-ton Vista-class ship to be named Carnival Panorama
Carnival Panorama has been chosen as the name of Carnival Cruise Line's new 133,500-ton ship scheduled to debut in fall 2019, the company said in its press release.
Carnival Panorama is the third in the line's highly successful Vista-class series, which are all named to reflect the connection between the vessels and the sea and highlighted by stunning indoor/outdoor spaces that create a truly unique seagoing vacation experience.
Carnival Panorama will join its sister ships – Carnival Vista, which entered service in 2016, and Carnival Horizon, set to debut April 2, 2018. The three 3,954-passenger Vista-class ships are the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line.
Like its name implies, Carnival Panorama will include venues offering both indoor and al fresco experiences, including the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Library Bar, and Bonsai Sushi, along with open-air attractions like the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction SkyRide, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, and the SportSquare recreation area.
Also featured will be a vibrant Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool, Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations, the Family Harbor Lounge, a luxurious Cloud 9 Spa and Ocean Plaza, a spacious dining and entertainment venue with indoor and outdoor seating.
China’s COSCO overtakes Maersk as top container shipper in third quarter
China’s COSCO Shipping took the top spot in the number of container liftings in the third quarter, overtaking Denmark’s Maersk Line for the first time, data from shipping consultancy Alphaliner showed.
China’s government is pushing to raise the country’s profile in global shipping and last year merged two state-owned firms to form COSCO Shipping, aiming to challenge the dominance of top players Maersk Line and Switzerland’s MSC.
COSCO lifted 5.49 million TEU (20-foot container units) in the third quarter, up 23 percent from the same period last year, surpassing Maersk’s 5.26 million TEU, according to the Alphaliner data, which was published this week.
It was unclear how much of COSCO’s activity related to inter-Chinese trade.
The fall in the number of containers handled by Maersk in the quarter, which was down 2.4 percent from the same period last year, was partly due to a costly cyber attack that hit its shipping and port operations in July and August.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Jonathan Saul; Editing by Edmund Blair)
CMA CGM to Build World’s Largest Containerships at Chinese Yards
SHANGHAI, Aug 23 (Reuters) – French shipping group CMA CGM plans to build nine of the world’s largest container ships at two Chinese shipyards, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co confirmed that it and its sister yard Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co, had received a letter of intent from CMA CGM for the ships, which would be capable of carrying 22,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU), the newspaper said.
Rumored CMA CGM Megaship Order Could Send Ripples Across Tradelanes
The final order was subject to board approval from both sides, the newspaper said. Both yards are owned by state-run China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
CMA CGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Calls to Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding outside office hours were not immediately answered.
Should they be built, CMA CGM’s 22,000 TEU vessels will leapfrog the OOCL Hong Kong to take the crown of the world’s largest container ships. The OOCL Hong Kong has a carrying capacity of 21,413 TEU.
(Bloomberg) Total SA agreed to buy the oil and gas unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the French company’s biggest acquisition since 1999 and another sign of the accelerating pace of energy deals after a long downturn. Total will pay Maersk with $4.95 billion of its own shares and assume $2.5 billion of the Copenhagen-based company’s debt, according to a statement on Monday. The full transaction value of $7.45 billion is above what some analysts were expecting and Maersk shares jumped as much as 5.7 percent following the announcement.
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Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) merged yesterday (May 25, 2017). The merger between the two liner shipping companies was completed in Hamburg.
With 230 vessels and a shared fleet capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world. Hapag-Lloyd will remain a publicly traded company registered in Germany with its headquarters in Hamburg.
“This is an important strategic milestone and a big step forward for Hapag-Lloyd,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd. “We now not only have a very strong market position in Latin America and the Atlantic, but also in the Middle East, where we will become one of the leading carriers. Our priority now is a smooth and fast integration of UASC and Hapag-Lloyd.” https://www.marinelink.co...
The outlook for the 2017 financial year is based on the Hapag-Lloyd Group’s existing business activities as at 31 December 2016 and therefore does not include UASC’s business activities or the acquisition of UASC in 2016.
A statement from the company said that the present outlook for the business 2017 will be omitted following the merger of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC which is expected to be completed at the end of May 2017.
With the publication of the next financial report,Hapag-Lloyd plans to issue an outlook for the business 2017 of the combined group which will include the business activities of UASC as well as the UASC financial statements for 2016.
The planned merger should generate annual synergies of USD 435 million from 2019 onwards, thanks in particular to the optimisation of joint networks and administrative functions.
Following the closing the timely integration of the UASC business activities and the realisation of the related synergies will have top priority. One-off expenses of approximately USD 150 million are likely to arise from the transaction and implementation of the merger.
The merger of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC was not completed at the time of the preparation of the Q1 2017 interim financial report. Although the current earnings forecasts do not include revenue and earnings effects or changes in value following the planned consolidation of UASC, the material factors arising from the planned merger with UASC will be discussed below.
Hapag-Lloyd released indicative pro-forma figures for UASC when the corporate bonds were issued at the start of 2017. www.maritimeprofe...
Commission approves acquisition of Hamburg Süd by Maersk Line, subject to conditions
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of container liner shipping company Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft KG (HSDG) of Germany by Maersk Line A/S of Denmark, subject to conditions.
Both Maersk Line and HSDG are active worldwide in container liner shipping. The clearance is conditional upon the withdrawal of HSDG from five consortia on trade routes connecting (i) Northern Europe and Central America/Caribbean, (ii) Northern Europe and West Coast South America, (iii) Northern Europe and Middle East, (iv) the Mediterranean and West Coast South America and (v) the Mediterranean and East Coast South America. On these routes, the merged entity would have faced insufficient competition after the transaction.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: ‘Competitive shipping services are essential for European companies and for the EU’s economy as a whole. The commitments offered by Maersk Line and HSDG will maintain a healthy level of competition to the benefit of the very many EU companies that depend on these container shipping services.’ www.hellenicshipp...