Mergers like the combination of its three main Japanese rivals -Nippon Yusen KK, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd - provide relief to an ailing industry that has been characterized by over-capacity, Bloomberg reported Maersk Group as saying.
Soren Skou, Maersk Line’s chief executive officer who also runs the A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, owner of the world’s largest container line, said last month that his company will stop buying new ships and instead try to expand through takeovers.
“We welcome consolidation,” Mikkel Elbek Linnet, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based Maersk Line, told Bloomberg. “Our industry is fragmented and consolidation can help transform our business for the benefit of our customers.”
The comments come as Maersk puts its group structure under strategic review. Management has said it wants to split the energy business off from its transport operations.
Efforts to date to consolidate have included agreements in parts of the industry to share ships, to avoid the cost of building up individual fleets. But Maersk says that may be a less effective way to achieve scale than outright mergers.