Is the genie out of the bottle as liner operators learn to make money?
AP Moller-Maersk chief executive Soren Skou believes container lines have learned the lessons of a previous crisis and have changed tack during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A decade ago, lines were focused on winning market share. Now they have their sights trained on making money.
“In 2009, the thinking in Maersk and the whole industry was if you had a network you would have to keep sailing it and fill it up at all cost,” Skou told an earnings webcast for the Danish shipping giant.
“That approach has completely changed.”
Maersk’s new method emulates courier express and parcel delivery services such as FedEx and UPS.
“There they are not sitting and discussing how many aeroplanes are in a network,” Skou said. “They deploy the flights when there’s demand and, when there’s not, they don’t.”
“That’s really what we’ve been doing in this crisis. That will be our approach going forward.
“Since it has worked so well for us, why should we change it?”
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