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Employees at container carriers point to lack of career opportunities

Employees at the major container carriers point first and foremost to a shortage of career opportunities, and they are not necessarily pleased with senior management, according to new data from recruitment firm Glassdoor. The data bring good as well as bad news for Maersk Line and MSC.

If the major container carriers are looking to seriously improve satisfaction among their employees, there are two areas they should target: improving career opportunities and senior management.

This is the conclusion reached by analyst firm SeaIntel after reviewing data from fast-growing recruitment firm Glassdoor, which was established ten years ago and has made a name on, among other things, allowing employees to evaluate their place of employment. The employees can rate a serious of factors commonly listed as top priorities, including wages, work/life balance, management, and career opportuntities.

And the latter two parameters are generally the ones rated lowest, whereas elements such as wages, cultures, and values along with work/life balance are rated the highest.

Though the data material is fairly limited and does not necessarily represent all employee groups, the ratings could perhaps still provide some insight into the strong suits of the container sector as well as the areas where carriers need to make en effort to keep or attract new employees.

For the world's biggest container carrier, Maersk Line, the data brings both goods news and bad.

Among the positives are that the carrier gets a rating of 3.7 on the overall scale from 1-5, and is thus surpassed only by MOL America, which is featured as an independent carrier in the survey. At Maersk Line, culture and the carrier's core values count as positives, whereas the carrier's senior management gets a mere 3.1 in the survey.

Big carriers get high ratings

The three top European carriers, Maersk Line, MSC, and CMA CGM all get high ratings in terms of their culture and values.

Maersk Line and MSC's chief executive officers – Søren Skou and Diego Aponte – are the clear winners as the most respected CEOs, with Aponte finishing first with a score of 95 percent, followed by Skou with 93 percent, in terms of backing from their respective organizations.

The bad news in the survey, in terms of the two carriers, is that South Korean alliance partner Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is ranked lowest, according to the data from Glassdoor.

HMM's gets an overall score of 1.6, and is thus the only carrier in the survey finishing below 2.0. Second-lowest ranked is France's CMA CGM, with an overall score of 3.1.

SeaIntel notes that HMM's low score is undoubtedly tied to the weak finances which has characterized the South Korean carrier in recent years and which were a deciding factor behind HMM's deal with the 2M alliance, an arrangement the carrier felt it was forced to enter.

The biggest improvement was achieved by CMA CGM, where support for senior management has increased by no less than 55 percentage points from 2016 to 78 percent in 2017.

Hapag-Lloyd experienced almost the same development, with support for CEO Rolf Habben Jansen allegedly increasing significantly.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

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