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Close in photo of Maersk ship loaded with containers

Shipping containers are transported on a Maersk Line vessel through the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

Maersk Closing the Door on Hamburg Süd and Sealand Brands

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 9292
January 27, 2023

Some more big news from Maersk today with its announcement that it will transition to a unified, singular “Maersk” brand.

The transition will involve the integration of Maersk brands, such as Hamburg Süd, Sealand and others, under the Maersk moniker.

Maersk insists that the move is not a cost-cutting exercise.

“We believe that by integrating these into the Maersk brand, we will be able to ease your logistical difficulties, whilst also offering you more variety, ease, and connectivity than ever before, all under one roof,” Maersk said in a statement.

The change comes less than a month into Vincent Clerc’s tenure as Maersk’s new CEO, replacing Soren Skou who served in the role since 2016 and had led the company’s transformation into an integrated logistics company focussing on end-to-end solutions. The new strategy also comes just days after Maersk said it would be discontinue the 2M Alliance with Mediterranean Shipping Company upon its scheduled expiration in 2025, potentially leaving Maersk in a tight spot considering it’s too big to join an existing alliance and too small to go it alone.

Maersk acquired German rival Hamburg Sud in 2017.

Maersk’s history with Sealand goes back much further. Sea Land Service, Inc. was started by containerization pioneer Malcom McLean in 1960 and acquired by Maersk in 1999. Maersk later retired the brand in 2006, only to revive it in 2015. As part of its integrator strategy, in 2018 Maersk combined its three regional carrier brands—MCC Transport, Sealand and Seago Line—under a single company known as “SeaLand – A Maersk Company.”

Maersk’s freight logistics service Twill, as well as other brands that Maersk has recently acquired, will also be integrated into Maersk.

“This is our intention. Any action will be preceded by an in-depth review before we are able to conclude on the future of each brand in different geographies,” Maersk said in a FAQ.

Maersk’s actions comes as it faces “turbulence on the horizon” as the container shipping industry returns to normal following the pandemic-induced surge that drove shipping rates to unsustainable levels and led to record profits for companies like Maersk.

Notably absent from Maersk’s announcement are its other brands, namely APM Terminals, Svitzer, Alianca, Maersk Container Industry, Maersk Training, Maersk Supply Service, Maersk H2S Safety Services, and Maersk Line, Limited, which all operate primarily outside the scope of Maersk’s container shipping business.

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