”Container carriers are close to being completely hard up”

The new alliance between Maersk Line, CMA CGM, and MSC does not tackle the entirety of the container market’s problem. You also need to look at the price fixing and particularly laid-up ships in order to succeed in saving a market headed for the abyss , says Jesper Præstensgaard, who has been a part of managements of major container carriers for many years.

Jesper Præstensgaard, who recently stepped down as CCO of Hapag-Lloyd and previously worked for about 25 years in Maersk, is an experienced observer of the container market. He views the new alliance between Maersk Line, CMA CGM, and MSC as a natural development for the industry, but also believes the carriers need to secure a lot of similar success stories, since according to him, they are already hard up.

“The alliance is caused by an underlying trend in the market – that the industry will see continued consolidation.  The container shipping industry is extremely fragmented and seeing as none of the carriers have delivered satisfactory results, the only way to address the problem is through consolidation. It is not certain that this will happen, as I and many others thought a few years ago, through major mergers and acquisitions. Instead, it will probably happen through many small steps in the form of alliances and minor co-operations,” Præstensgaard says in an interview with ShippingWatch.

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