Major workforce restructuring in Maersk: uncertain future for thousands of workers
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The Danish shipowner Maersk is planning large job cuts. The changes resulting from the planned restructuring will affect more than one-third of the shipping giant’s personnel. will affect more than one-third of the shipping giant’s personnel.
The Danish shipowner, who handles around 20% of containers worldwide, is planning major changes. It wants to integrate its seaborne container and in-land logistics businesses, informs Reuters.
Although Maersk has shown exceptional resilience to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is under pressure from investors to speed its transformation from ‘an unwieldy conglomerate’. As a result, the company has announced the restructuring of its businesses and subsidiaries. The aim is to simplify the company’s structure and ‘improve customer access’ to the services it offers.
As announced, Safmarine, a company with South-African roots, specialising in container and general cargo transport to and from African and Central Asian countries, will be fully integrated into Maersk. The Danish shipowner has also announced the integration of Damco offering solutions in the areas of contract logistics, transport, freight forwarding, sea and air freight. The integration into the new Ocean and Logistics division is expected by the end of this year and both brands will cease to exist. Hamburg Süd, in turn, will remain a separate brand, but its facilities will be moved to Maersk, the company said.
Simplifying the organisation will regrettably impact jobs due to duplicate roles and roles that will no longer be needed,” Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Clerc said earlier in an internal email sent to Maersk employees.
Layoffs, transfers or changes of a formal employer will affect around 27,000 employees, i. e. more than a third of Maersk’s total headcount of 80,000. How many people will lose their jobs, the company did not inform. In the coming month, Maersk will meet with the unions to negotiate the impact of the restructuring on employment.
It is not easy to say goodbye to qualified and committed employees, but unfortunately this is a consequence of integration and a necessary part of our efforts to reduce costs in order to achieve sustainable growth as we achieve our strategic objectives,” said a Maersk spokesperson for the Europa Press agency.