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Maersk Line Shortlisted for Lloyd’s List Global Awards in ‘Company of the Year’, ‘CSR’ and ‘Training’ Categories

Back to defend last year’s win for ‘Company of the Year’, Maersk Line is honoured to once again be shortlisted for the Lloyd’s List Global Awards! These prestigious industry awards set a benchmark for excellence by rewarding innovative ideas and concepts that have pushed industry boundaries – and this time Maersk Line has been nominated in three categories:

‘Company of the Year’

2013 was a good year for Maersk Line. We strengthened profitability despite challenging market conditions, delivering a profit of $1.5bn compared to $461m a year earlier. How? A continuous focus on operational and network efficiencies, cost reduction and improving the quality of service we provide to our customers. For example, Maersk Line was able to reduce fuel consumption by 1.2 million tonnes and CO2 emissions 3.8 million tonnes in 2013 alone – despite growing our business by 4.1% – in effect decoupling future growth from energy consumption and building the foundations for sustainable, profitable growth in the future.

‘Corporate Social Responsibility’

As an enabler and facilitator of global trade and development, Maersk Line is more than the sum of our vessels. Together with Cargill and Computer Aid International, Maersk Line has installed an off-the-grid IT classroom in a container, the Zubabox, in a remote cocoa growing community in Ghana. The Zubabox solution has been designed to help rural communities access IT equipment and the internet. Ultimately, this will enable producers and buyers to link more effectively to regional and global markets, effectively unlocking future growth and development potential in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Our customers are at the forefront of what we do. In 2013, Maersk Line launched the CARE PROgram; a transformational training program for our global customer service organisation focused on being more Proactive, building stronger Relationships, and taking Ownership of our customer’s experience.  As of Q2 2014, the programme has been successfully rolled out to 2500+ employees worldwide, and Maersk Line is already seeing an improvement in job performance and an increase in customer satisfaction.

Winners to be announced in September

The Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2014 have earned a reputation for being difficult to win and just being shortlisted is seen as a significant achievement by the industry. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 30 September in London. https://ibiawards.com/lloydslist-global/

When a container stops being a container

Even if you are not entirely immersed in the shipping business, you have probably seen a container at some point in your life. We know them as bulky boxes of metal which are carried around on ships and trucks in order to deliver everything from shoes, flowers, fruit and footballs to consumers in all corners of the world. And the ones from Maersk Line, we know for the ever-present iconic star logo placed directly on the side of each container.

However, a container can serve several other purposes than the one it was originally built for. In London, Urban Space Management Limited has created an entire city – aptly named Container City – reusing used containers for classrooms, office space, sports halls, nurseries, community centres, artist studios, retail space, live and work space.

“Reusable shipping containers provide a cost effective and sustainable approach to building design,” is the mantra for Urban Space Management.

And the idea of linking together used shipping containers to provide high-strength steel modules is catching on.

Containers as classrooms

Zubabox1To Maersk Line Sustainability, the idea of rebuilding containers for new purposes isn’t new.

Working with the global supplier of agricultural products Cargill, Computer Aid, which is the world’s largest non-profit supplier of refurbished computers, Maersk Line has been a part of developing a mobile IT classroom designed to provide internet access and IT skills to school children in areas where the worldwide web is not a given. In the rural and fairly isolated cocoa growing communities of Ghana, electricity is limited and the cost of internet access highly inflated compared to incomes.

The totally refurbished container is now decked out with chairs and computers and serves as a classroom for the pupils of the Asarekwaa Al Furqn Islamic School in Ghana.

Maersk Line’s containers have been used in community activities for several purposes worldwide. Safmarine’s “Containers in the community programme” which was started in the 1990s uses second-hand or retired containers are to create much needed infrastructure such as schools and clinics.

SafmarineThe programme aims to involve local communities and seek partnerships with fellow South Africa companies and Safmarine customers.

Maersk Line each year takes several thousand containers out of official circulation when they reach the official retirement age of a container, which is 18 years. With only a minor part of these being too worn down to serve new purposes, the still functional containers are sold to projects all over the world and used as storage rooms, decoration and housing.


Art-Box raises awareness of container shipping

A postcard with a difference: Colourful container goes on worldwide tour to help make shipping more visible


Maersk Line New Zealand and Ports of Auckland have teamed up to create a giant ‘postcard’ as part of a year-long social media campaign. The idea behind the creative initiative was sparked by the description of shipping in a book by UK journalist Rose George as ‘the invisible industry which brings you 90% of everything’.

The ‘postcard’, an eye-catching Maersk Line 40-foot refrigerated container was painted by local street artists during an open day event at the Ports of Auckland’s in January. The container, dubbed the Art-Box, will travel around the world to raise awareness of container shipping as the most low cost, energy efficient form of global transportation that is essential for global economic growth and vitality.

Click here to watch the video clip of the container being painted by Kiwi artists, Askew One and Trust Me.

First stop Philly

The Art-Box was launched back into service in February and just four months later, the container already has an enviable collection of ‘passport stamps’ including visits to Philadelphia, Jebel Ali and Casablanca, carrying a diverse mix of commodities along its journey: seafood, military supplies and chocolate!

New Zealand seafood exporter OP Columbia was pleased to support the creative initiative with an inaugural shipment of frozen mussels from Auckland to Philadelphia, US.

“The Art-Box is a great opportunity to raise awareness of container shipping and we’re delighted to start the container off on its global journey with an export shipment of Coromandel’s finest Greenshell mussels,” said Andrew Selby, OP Columbia’s managing director.

To mark the arrival into Philadelphia, Maersk Line colleagues here organised a number of promotional activities, including a port tour for US consignee Mark Foods and local media releases to promote the Art-Box.

“The fact that the Art-Box is a refrigerated container further emphasizes the contribution state-of-the-art containerised technology makes to providing healthy, fresh food to markets throughout the world,” said Bill Duggan, Vice President of Refrigerated Sales, Maersk Line North America.


Where to next?

After a busy few weeks in North America, it was off to Jebel Ali with a consignment of supplies for the US military. After unloading, the Art-Box played host to a group of excited undergraduate students from Heriot-Watt University Dubai who were keen to learn more about global shipping as part of their studies.

The Art-Box has now arrived in Casablanca, Morocco, this time carrying a delectable load of chocolate. Similar to its previous stop-overs, Maersk Line colleagues have been making the most of the colourful ‘postcard’ and the busy stop-over agenda has included a port event with customer Somathes, Casablanca city tour, staff photo session and special visits by three local art schools.

With luck, and a bit of planning, the Art-Box is set to be back in New Zealand for SeePort 2015, an annual open-day event aimed giving the local community a glimpse of port operations and industry insights. Here it will be back on display to tell the tale of its worldwide travels.

Maersk Line New Zealand’s 10-year partnership agreement with logistics giant Kotahi: A landmark change for the sector.

In a ground-breaking deal, Maersk Line has teamed up with the country’s leading freight and logistics company, Kotahi. In the joint partnership model, Kotahi will commit a significant share of their container volume to Maersk Line; some 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) over 10 years, which in turn opens up the possibility for Maersk Line to bring larger vessels to New Zealand ports.


This innovative business approach is designed to create value for both organisations, and will be a substantial part of Maersk Line’s strategy of securing a sustained competitive advantage for its operations ‘Down Under’.

Collaborative solutions to customer needs

Commenting on the deal, Chief Trade & Marketing Officer Vincent Clerc says: “It is important that we meet the needs of our customers through a collaborative approach. Our good relationship with Kotahi has evolved into a long-term partnership on an unprecedented scale, for the benefit of Kotahi’s customers in New Zealand but also for the benefit of the market at large.”

The New Zealand market is very attractive thanks to its high reefer export volumes, explains Cluster Top Gerard Morrison, but the trading environment is heavily impacted by seasonal volume fluctuations, persistent pressure on freight rates and an increasing risk of new competition entrants.

“In recent years, we have taken different steps to mitigate the market fluctuations, but the time was ripe for a significant change. The partnership with Kotahi will allow for more long-term planning,” explains Gerard.

The 10-year scale and collaborative nature of the contract structure now lays the foundation for a strategic partnership that is driven by innovative joint business planning.

Game changer for New Zealand 

Kotahi manages freight and logistics for the world’s largest dairy exporter, Fonterra, and the largest New Zealand-based meat producer, Silver Fern Farms. The company is a key contributor to New Zealand’s USD 45-billion export industry.

“The combined strength of Maersk Line and Kotahi will be a real game changer for the New Zealand market,” says Gerard. “The economies of scale presented by this deal will bring clear benefits to Kotahi’s customers, and provide new opportunities for exporters and importers across the country.”

The new partnership status is the result of a substantial transformation process, and Grant Skelton, Maersk Line’s key client manager for Kotahi, is keen to emphasise that this level of collaboration has not come automatically. It’s the result of a concerted effort from key parties in both organisations over several months.

“This agreement personifies true partnership at the highest level. We have been working closely with Kotahi to develop a fresh way of doing business together. Our contract framework supports a level of engagement that is unprecedented and it delivers transparency and shared value on a very tangible level,” Grant says.

One expected value outcome from the partnership will be Maersk Line’s ability to bring larger vessels to New Zealand. The resulting strong northbound product out of Oceania and the efficiency gains, both on costs and CO2, will translate to tangible benefits to all New Zealand customers.

Maersk Line hails its top performers

The portraits of the 12 first-time Maersk Line and Safmarine winners of the Sales Master Awards who received the award in April now feature in a newly instated Hall of Fame for top performers in Sales. 

In April, 10 outstanding sales representatives from Maersk Line and two from Safmarine all received a very welcome phone call from their managers. The message: You are the winners of the 2014 Sales Master Award – the Maersk Line top management’s acknowledgement of excellent sales performance in 2013.

The Sales Master Award winners were honoured as role models for their colleagues a couple of months ago and were celebrated during a 3-day visit to the Maersk Line headquarters in Denmark. Now they receive further – visible – acclaim in the shape of a photo gallery in the headquarters in Copenhagen. Ten determined faces representing sales excellence from eight different clusters now greet visitors making their way into the Commercial department at the heart of the world’s largest shipping line.

Chief Commercial Officer, Stephen Schueler, who initiated the Sales Master Awards as an incentive for the Maersk Line sales representatives, shares his thoughts behind the ‘Hall of Fame’ for the award winners: ‘We want to make it explicit and visible who our top performers are. They have all achieved results they can be tremendously proud of and the gallery serves as both a celebration of the winners and as a continuous inspiration for them and all their colleagues.”

Taking pride in the achievement

One of the 2014 winners, Delphine Marie-Laure Dore from Ivory Coast, says that the win is associated with tremendous pride. “It’s a great experience working for Maersk Line, and the Maersk local sales are recognized as being among the most professional in the market. This is only accentuated by showing the winners and further acknowledging the achievements.”

When asked what she believes has made a difference in her way of working towards the achievement of becoming a Sales Master Award winner, Marie-Laure says:

“I would say considering the company values of ’humbleness’ and ’constant care’ in my daily work. Moreover, I have made sure I am close to our customers by taking time to understand their businesses, their needs and their requirements for a constant efficient service delivery”. As a piece of advice for her colleagues who aspire to be the next faces on the wall of winners, Delphine Marie-Laurie says that is vital to “always make the customers our number one priority.”

In touch with our customers

Her sentiments are echoed by Alejandro Goren from the River Plate Cluster. What makes him a successful Maersk Line representative?

“I make sure that I’m in touch with all my key clients several times a week. That way I am always in the know and can catch up on events and issues relevant to their business. My advice to my colleagues would be to also use the knowledge of others. Ask if you think people can help you move forward.”

Alejandro says that already before he knew of the ‘Hall of fame’ he felt the ambition to repeat his sales performance of 2013.

“It felt fantastic to go to Copenhagen and meet top management during the award ceremony and of course I thought about how incredible it would feel to do it again next year. It really means a lot to have the kind of goal in your mind in your everyday work,” says Alejandro.

The Sales Master Awards will be handed out to a new group of Maersk Line and Safmarine winners in the beginning of 2015.