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Maersk cuts Asia-Europe trade

By: Alethia Tiang, Global
Published: Feb 20, 2012

MAERSK    SHIPPING     COST-CUTTING

Global - Maersk Line, container ship fleet operator and subsidiary of Denmark's AP Moller-Maersk, will be significantly reducing capacity in its Asia to Europe services.

Maersk announced that the capacity will be reduced by 9%, as the oversupply of ships in the Asia to Europe route had pushed rates down to levels too low to sustain.

"The supply of vessels currently operating on this trade simply outweighs the demand. We are therefore rationalising our service by taking out vessel capacity and thereby reducing costs," Vincent Clerc, chief product and yield officer for Maersk Line, said.

Søren Skou, chief executive of Maersk Line, added the move would allow its ships to operate closer to full capacity without giving up market share.

"We will defend our market share position at any cost, while focusing on growing with the market and restoring profitability," Skou said.

Container traffic between Asia and Europe is projected to grow at only 1.5% this year, as opposed to last year's 2.8%, according to a report from shipping analyst Alphaliner.

Maersk Line will also consider additional opportunities, when commercially appropriate, to reduce capacity, including redlivery of time charter tonnage, the use of lay-ups and slow-steaming.

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