The Danish ocean freight giant, Maersk, intends to rebrand its logistics subsidiaries. Affected by the decision are most of the company’s 234 affiliates. Among the prominent members of the Group together with Damco and Safmarine, is shipping line, Hamburg Süd. Just six years after the 3.7 billion euro valued takeover from the Oetker industrial consortium was cut and dried, Maersk announced that the name of the iconic container liner will disappear. Exactly 152 years after the naval company’s inception.
“The name of Hamburg-Süd will be retained.” This promise was made by both, seller Oetker and buyer Maersk, while inking the takeover deal in DEC17. However, since this weekend, this verbal guarantee is a thing of the past. So far, the Copenhagen headquarters of the Moller Maersk Group has not yet communicated whether Hamburg Süd’s rebranding also includes plans to scrap the names of the famous Santa and Cap vessels by giving the container ships alternative Maersk names.
The intended rebranding is in line with the Danish transport mammoth’s goal of converting from a maritime service provider into a global integrator offering seamless logistics services, in this way controlling and simplifying its customers’ supply chains.
This transition strategy is already in full swing. It includes financial services, MRO offers, land and rail transports, and air freight solutions, complementing its bread-and-butter service: the maritime transport of ocean containers. Meanwhile, the Danes have established their own freight airline, Maersk Air Cargo, using Billund Airport in Jutland as intercontinental hub (CargoForwarder Global reported).
As far as Hamburg Süd is concerned, the planned rebranding is just another result of relocation processes that are ongoing for quite some time already. For example, the shipping company's entire ocean fleet is now managed from Maersk's headquarters in Copenhagen. As a result, Hamburg Süd ceased to be a shipping line based in Hamburg but was dwarfed to the role of a larger sales office, with only around 700 employees left at its former center of activities near the bank of the Elbe River.
No job transfers, promises Maersk
Parallel to the rebranding campaign, Maersk assured that there would be no job transfers from Hamburg to Copenhagen. It remains to be seen whether this commitment will be being kept. The fact that the promise voiced at the time of the takeover that Hamburg Süd would keep its brand and not be renamed, inspires little confidence in the Danish shipping company's credibility.
With Hamburg Süd, Germany's by far largest port city is losing a logistics pearl. It is the second within a short period of time: freight forwarder, Senator International was taken over by Maersk in NOV21. Presumably, that agent will also be rebranded soon.
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