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Maersk Line axes jobs and scales back fleet expansion as demand fails to live up to expectations

UPDATED: Carrier will not exercise options to acquire six 19,630 teu vessels but large ships still a key driver for Maersk’s strategy, says Skou

MAERSK Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, will cut its workforce, defer investments in new vessels and cancel options to buy larger ones in a bid to address the market downturn and defend its position.

“We will make the organisation leaner and simpler,” Maersk Line chief executive Søren Skou said in a statement.

The carrier, which has 23,000 land-based staff globally, said that ongoing automation and digitalisation would help it to reduce its workforce by at least 4,000 by the end of 2017.

“These decisions are not taken lightly, but they are necessary steps to transform our industry,” Mr Skou said.

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