Maersk Line, the Maersk Group's key business unit, finished 2013 with a USD 1.5 billion profit, compared to a profit last year of USD 461 million.
Maersk Line has been expected to deliver a solid result - a result anticipated to finish significantly above 2012 - as the carrier already after the 3rd quarter 2013 presented profits approx. USD one billion higher than in the same period 2012, and expectations in the fall were that 2013 as a whole would finish "significantly better than 2012."
Maersk Line expects a 2014 result in line with 2013:
"Maersk Line aims to improve its competitiveness although unit cost reductions will be less than in 2013. Global demand for seaborne container transportation is expected to increase by 4-5% and Maersk Line aims to grow with the market. Excess capacity is likely to depress freight rates."
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And as ShippingWatch reported recently, Søren Skou did not pull any punches when he recently hosted the carrier's Top 100 senior executives at the company's headquarters in Copenhagen for Maersk Line's annual Global Leader Conference.
Søren Skou: These are Maersk Line's biggest challenges
In a video recording distributed online to Maersk Line world wide and to all the participants as well, Søren Skou said, among other things, that:
"When the result will be published February 27., there will be something to celebrate. We will do so and I encourage you to do the same because there is really something to celebrate."
But the carrier - and the world - will have to wait a few more weeks for the most crucial piece of news: Namely whether Maersk Line secures approval for the most extensive cooperation in container shipping to date, an operational collaboration - P3 - with the carrier's two largest competitors, MSC and CMA CGM. Norwegian analyst RS Platou Markets estimates that a P3 approval contribute around USD two billion in cost reductions.
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