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Why two liner giants are going their own ways

Not only have alliance partners MSC and Maersk split, they are taking radically different strategic paths

The world’s two largest liner shipping companies are placing radically different bets on the future of the sector. Which model is more likely to prevail?

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has staked its future on growing its fleet and acquiring market share. It has been placing record numbers of newbuilding orders and buying every secondhand vessel it can. Last year it overtook AP Moller-Maersk as the world’s largest liner operator.

Yet Maersk remains unfazed as it pursues an alternative vision. Seeking to escape what it deems the commoditisation of liner shipping, it wants to offer more services along the supply chain. Maersk is seeking to integrate logistics into its core ocean model, rather than operating as a pure liner shipping carrier.

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