Safmarine today, 3rd October 2011, announces the intention to integrate its internal support and management functions into those of its sister company Maersk Line.
While the Safmarine head quarter is intended to close, the brand will be kept in the Maersk Liner Business portfolio. Maersk Liner Business CEO, Eivind Kolding, explains that Safmarine is an important component in the Liner Business strategy, but the need to ensure management efficiencies and control cost has lead to the decision to propose merging Safmarine's management into that of Maersk Line. Merging such internal support functions and central management involves the closure of Safmarine's Antwerp head office and regional offices in Antwerp, Shanghai, Dubai, Cape Town, and Mumbai, along with centre support functions currently carried out in Singapore and Cape Town. This will potentially affect 240 people in those locations.
The changing role of Safmarine's management also brings a shift in responsibilities for the company's leadership. Current CEO, Tomas Dyrbye, will be leaving his position. His successor will be announced in the near future.
Eivind Kolding, CEO Maersk Liner Business says that the company regrets the loss of trusted colleagues: "We are sad to have to consider losing some very strong colleagues, who have made an important contribution to the company and helped change the way we think about shipping. All changes are subject to consultation and we are working with our employees to find a fair outcome for everyone affected."
Kolding adds that Safmarine will continue to be an important part of the business. "It has proven that a close focus on a particular approach can deliver stronger customer service and lasting relationships - this is core to our mission of redefining shipping."
The Safmarine brand is to be grown further as part of Maersk's liner business strategy of providing differentiated customer offerings.
Safmarine currently operates alongside Maersk Line as a fully independent shipowner and shipping line serving Africa, the Middle East and India. This move will reduce core costs of running both two businesses.
Throughout 2011 Maersk Liner Business has pursued a strategy of differentiating itself from its competitors and realises that customers value different aspects in different trades. As well as Safmarine it operates regional brands in Europe (SeaGoLine) and Asia (MCC).
The CEO is certain that the Safmarine brand has a strong future: "It is our clear intention to strengthen the Safmarine brand. Over its long history it has become a force to be reckoned with in its markets and customers value its distinctive approach to deep and lasting relationships."
The Multi Purpose Vessel business of Safmarine will be unaffected by the integration and continue to be developed from its base in Antwerp.
All media enquiries or approaches are to be referred to Group Press Officer, Michael Christian Storgaard, +45 33633534