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February 2010 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
The CEO of Denmark's AP Møller-Maersk
has outlined new directions for the
company which is facing its first full-year
losses in its 105-year history.
In the first nine months of 2009, the
company's container shipping division
made a post-tax loss of US$1.54 billion
while Maersk Tankers posted a US$193
million loss from January to September.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Nils
Andersen outlined three areas outside of
its main shipping interests as priorities for
future investments. In 2010, the company
will be targeting its oil and gas business,
its container handling terminals and also
look out for distressed asset sales.
"I believe that losses will become
smaller in 2010," the paper quoted Mr
Andersen as saying, "not because we'll
achieve a good supply-demand situation
but simply because even with a bad
supply-demand situation, present rates are
Mr Andersen maintained that most
other container lines were in the same or
worse position than Maersk.
"It's fair to say that we've over-invested
and also timed the investment less than
perfectly," he conceded. In 2008, Maersk
bought Sweden's Brostrom shipping, a
large product tanker operator, just before
rates took a nosedive.
Mr Andersen admitted that the timing
had been bad but insisted that the
acquisition, which came at US$583
million, was "small" in Maersk's terms.
"I do believe it will be a good
investment long-term," he said.
"Most of the investments we made will
be profitable," he added, although he said
that future investment programmes
would be smaller due to world economic
Furthermore, the group will be closing
its loss-making shipyard division, and
Norfolkline, where disposal talks have
been happening, will most likely be sold.
In the meantime, the company will
make future decisions based on a different
framework. In the past, the company has
placed emphasis on providing certain key
services to its core container shipping and
oil businesses. However, Mr Andersen said
that each business area would have to
justify itself independently from now on.
"It improves accountability a lot and
makes the businesses a lot more flexible,
not only in the way they react to the
markets, but also... in finding customers
and suppliers outside the group," he said.
"It's easier to see where you're not
making money," Mr Andersen said,
summing up the group's aggressive
Iconic Maersk containers -- the company is at a
critical crossroads, with its first ever full-year losses
AP Møller-Maersk loss: New directions outlined
On December 11, the last newbuilding of a series of 3,400TEU
container ships entered the waters at the Emden-based TKMS
Blohm + Voss Nordseewerke.
This technical launch took place nine months after the laying
down of the first double-bottom section. Once fully afloat, the
vessel was immediately hauled over to the outfitting pier, where
it will remain moored until its scheduled handover at the end of
the first quarter of 2010.
The container vessel (yard number 559) is the last of a series of
six 3,400TEU container ships that have been designed by TKMS
Blohm + Voss Nordseewerke and constructed jointly by the
Emden shipyard and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel.
The container ship was built in compliance with the rules and
regulations of Germanischer Lloyd. The vessel measures 228.5
metres by 32.2 metres. Displacing 42,600 tonnes, the vessel has a
container capacity of 3,426TEU and 500 reefer connections.
The commercial shipbuilding crisis has meant that this
container ship will be the last produced at TKMS Blohm + Voss
Nordseewerke, which will now cease its newbuilding operations.
By taking this step, the Emden site will now be able to
reposition itself as a future manufacturing centre for offshore
wind turbine components. In early 2010, the new owner
SIAG-Schaaf Industrie was to start work on converting the
existing dockyards to serve this purpose. In the future, the site
will be known as SIAG Nordseewerke.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will continue to handle vessel
repairs and outfitting work at Emden and will be keeping its
Engineering Unit for naval vessels in operation at the site.
Launch of the last container ship at TKMS Blohm + Voss Nordseewerke
Which way the wind blows... Yard number 559 is both the final of six 3,400TEU newbuilds and the last container ship to be built at TKMS Blohm + Voss
Nordseewerke. The German yard, with new ownership, now plans to build offshore wind turbine components instead of ships
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