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#MyContainer – A surprise in the box!

As we go about lauding the winning entries for #MyContainer, here is something more to celebrate! Although we ended up choosing just 2 winning ideas, the limit that we’d kept for the number of winners was 3. So not having the 3rd winner just didn’t feel right, and having received so many amazing ideas, our judges are happy to choose one more winner for us. So here it is: the surprise announcement of the third winner for #MyContainer!

Winner #3: Daniel Restrepo 

Concept: Coastguard Tower

The winning idea: #MyContainer to be converted into coastguard towers for the beaches.

Daniel Restrepo-Coastguard-FB

What the judges have to say: “We are acutely aware of the perils of the ocean – whether you are the crew on board a vessel or going for a leisurely swim. And we take them very seriously. I have the deepest admiration for those who commit their lives to the safety of others and I would feel really good if our containers can, even in the smallest way, contribute to that after they retire.” says Rune Sorensen, Head of Brand & Customer Insights.

Concluding the exciting #MyContainer competition, we would like to take this chance and congratulate all the winners once again, and thank all of you who sent us the exciting ideas!

A young boy’s dream comes true


Captain on the bridge


Captain Ngoc Nguyen always knew he wanted to be a captain on a Maersk Line vessel. 25 years later, that dream has come true

Ngoc Nguyen

Ngoc Nguyen is the captain of Thomas Maersk, but his story begins many years ago on another vessel. “I was 13 years old when I first met a Maersk Line vessel,” he says. “At that time I was a refugee. I was on a small boat sailing away from Vietnam to the Philippines.”

On the Arnold Maersk

In 1975, Clara Maersk had famously rescued 3,500 refugees fleeing the Vietnam War in the biggest rescue operation in the history of Maersk Line. In 1981, the war had been over for six years, but refugees leaving the country were still abundant in the area. At this time, Arnold Maersk was trading in the South China Sea.

20140902_nguyen2One early morning, it spotted a small boat in the water, and Captain Jørgen Orla Hansen decided to turn around and help. Some 60 people were taken on board, and one of these was 13-year old Ngoc Nguyen, along with his mother and three siblings. That event would be a turning point for young Ngoc.

“For me it’s just like yesterday,” he recalls. “I remember every detail from that time.” They were taken to a refugee camp in Hong Kong, and after six months Ngoc’s family were granted asylum in Denmark. Coming to Europe gave Ngoc a new life, but he always remembered that day in the South China Sea.

“At the time when I had to take an education, there was no doubt that I wanted to be a sailor,” tells Ngoc. “I wanted to be an officer or captain on board a Maersk Line vessel.” He joined Maersk in 1989 as a cadet, and incidentally his first ship was again Arnold Maersk. And when his first assignment as turn officer brought him to Mathilde Maersk, he met none other than the very same captain who had rescued him eight years earlier.

“I have been very lucky”

“I have no doubt that I have been very lucky and also very happy to be working with Maersk Line,” says Ngoc, who last week celebrated 25 years of service for Maersk Line on 22 August. Besides an office posting in Maersk Ship Design in China, and two years of service in the Royal Danish Navy, he has remained true to his boyhood dream of sailing under the white star.

In February, Ngoc was promoted to captain, and was given the keys to Thomas Maersk, sailing between Europe and West Africa.

“It was a young boy’s dream coming true, the day I became captain on Thomas Maersk,” he admits. And the memory of 1981 is still fresh in his mind. “Every time I’m back at sea and see small boats, I am aware that it could be a boat with refugees in the same situation.”

Earlier this year, Ngoc told the Maersk Post: “We have to fight for the things we want, and, in the end, maybe we will have a little bit of luck. In my case, my luck began on the day I met Arnold Maersk and went on to begin a new life.”

Author: Kenneth Mollerup Birch, Chief Editor, Maersk Line Communications

#MyContainer – the winners are in the box!

We have now had the chance to go through your wonderful suggestions for the #MyContainer competition and the winners have been found. We are impressed with your ideas and truly appreciate each and every contribution. However, two suggestions stood out and have been selected as the competition winners. Please join us in the celebration of the very innovative winning ideas.

Winner # 1: Jimmy Johansson

Concept: Football goal post and shade

The winning idea: #MyContainer to be converted into a football goal post and shade. It will be the perfect help at kids’ football where it can serve as the shooting wall, goals, a cover in bad weather, and even a storage box.

Jimmy Johansson_Football goal post and shade_Twitter

What the judges have to say: “I like to think that after a long life of sustainably transporting goods – including toys – around the world, the container can continue to serve as part of the playground and bring joy to kids after it is retired from active duty,” says Signe Bruun Jensen, Head of Sustainability in Maersk Line.

Winner #2: Leif Pedersen

Concept: Bus Stop

The winning idea: A 40 foot container can be transformed into a modern bus station and bike parking, with, next to them, 2 wall phones and a defibrillator. It is a simple design with little modification that would be required for the container.

 Leif Pedersen‎_Bus Stop


What the judges have to say: “It’s simple and functional and we all know the feeling of having to wait for the bus in the rain. I like the idea of our containers keeping people and bicycles dry and making the waiting a little more comfortable, says Rune Sorensen, Head of Brand & Customer Insights.”

We would like to congratulate the winners for their innovative approach towards re-using a used container. Jimmy Johansson and Leif Pedersen will receive a LEGO model of the Triple-E ship.


“You also have to risk losing”

Praised as one of Maersk Line’s absolute top performers in sales in 2013 after only 18 months in the shipping industry, Alejandro Goren stands out as a role model for his colleagues.


“I can hands down say that there is no single week when I don’t speak to my clients at least once or twice a week. That’s the only way I can stay in the loop and know exactly what’s going on at their end, which is so important for business. I see these relationships as partnerships, and partnerships have to be nourished.”

When it comes to customer relationships, consistency and persistence are essential elements in Alejandro Goren’s modus operandi.

Born and raised in Cordoba, Argentina, with a one-year adventurous stint in Alaska when he was only 17, Goren graduated in Israel with a degree in business administration. He then moved straight to Toronto, Canada for his professional debut and subsequent blossoming career.

In other words, 33-year-old Goren has always liked to go off the beaten path, and his untraditional ways paid off in April 2014 when he was one of ten Maersk Line sales representatives to accept the Sales Master Award for a stellar performance.

Teamwork and partnerships

Although Goren only joined Maersk Line Reefer Sales in Buenos Aires in October 2012, the motivation for the award reflects his enormous success. ”Alejandro’s ability to deselect less profitable business and to build a healthy account portfolio based on a medium- and long-term business set-up resulted in an outstanding achievement. Alejandro delivered a 192% result to his business target, with a total revenue of USD 82 million.”

The result triggers curiosity: how does he do it? When asked, Goren immediately points to the massive support he believes he has experienced from colleagues all over the world.

“I could definitely not have done this by myself. I would be lying if I said it was easy for me to join an entirely new business and understand the complexity of it. People around me absolutely carried me through the first difficult months, sharing their knowledge and tips and tricks of the trade.”

Win some, lose some

Maybe a more surprising edge to Goren’s attitude and way of working is his belief in the fact that you can’t always win. “You need to be able to learn to lose,” he says with confidence. “It doesn’t hurt to have that experience once in a while; I actually think it’s beneficial. My advice to others would be not to get too crazy if you lose some business – it happens. You will be back with other results.”

As for Goren’s own immediate ambitions, he says that he will feel both ‘blessed’ and ‘lucky’ if 2014 proves to be another winning year. “Would I like to receive the Sales Master Award a second time around? Absolutely. When all is said and done, it is an achievement I’m immensely proud of.”

Article for Maersk Post by Nina Skyum-Nielsen

Container shipping industry reduces CO2 emissions – Maersk Line outperforms the industry

The Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) has just published annual CO2 emission performance data for the container shipping industry. On an average, member carriers have reduced CO2 emissions per container transported in 2013 by 7.7% – a remarkable achievement in a single year!

The Clean Cargo Working Group

3Clean Cargo Working Group is a B2B collaboration between 40+ global customers and container carriers dedicated to accelerating sustainability improvements in the container shipping industry. They do so by developing aligned environmental standards, tools and comparable performance data which enables customers to benchmark environmental performance and integrate environmental performance indicators into procurement decisions – In other words, using transparency to drive sustainable performance improvements. The Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) consists of customers including well-known brands such as Nike, Walmart, Heineken, IKEA, Marks & Spencer, Electrolux and DHL. The carriers included in CCWG represent 85% of all global container shipments.

ccg1A particular strength of the CCWG is that it collects and reports CO2 performance data not only at a global level, but also at a granular level for a set of standardised transportation routes (‘trade lanes’) e.g. Asia to the West Coast of North America. This gives customers more transparency in terms of performance numbers for the routes that they use – providing a more credible way of comparing performance.

Maersk Line is outperforming the rest of the industry

As was reported earlier this year, Maersk Line has reduced CO2 emissions by 12% per container-kilometre in 2013 alone. In total, we have now reduced our CO2 emissions by more than 34% since 2007*. This is also reflected in the company’s absolute emissions, where we managed to cut emissions by 3.8 million tonnes in 2013 – despite growing our business by 4.1%.

If we compare our ‘transportation route’ performance against the latest CCWG figures for the rest of the industry, Maersk Line continues to excel. In this benchmark, Maersk Line is the top performer or performing better than industry average on almost all transportation routes. On some of the largest routes, we are more than 20% better than the average transportation route performance!

Less CO2 for Maersk Line means less CO2 for our customers. The latest figures confirm that Maersk Line’s customers can reduce CO2 emissions by shipping their products with us compared to an average carrier.

*Maersk Line CO2 data has been externally verified by Lloyds Register since 2010