Maersk Line CEO Eivind Kolding told the Financial Times Deutschland that he believed some shipping lines won't survive any longer than 2010, unless they were prepared to merge their operations with today's partners or even competitors.
Kolding said, there would be a "wave" of mergers in the next few years and underlines that Maersk Line would play an active part in this. However, he underlined that his company did not plan any takeovers in the near future. According to Kolvind, Maersk Line's present top priorities are to further streamline the company's operations and restore freight rates to a reasonable level. "We are not planning to use the economic crisis to gain market share", Kolding told FTD.
Recently, the A.P. Møller-Maersk Group's executive management had commented on the overall situation in a similar fashion. Two weeks ago, APM chief executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen announced to shift his group's focus from liner operation towards other fields like the oil business and seaport terminals. Andersen called container shipping "a complex area to make money in" and added that it would not make any sense to grow Maersk Line any larger (that is beyond the existing orderbook) in the present environment.