To this day, the red ships from Hamburg Süd are ambassadors for the Hanseatic city on the seven seas. This should come to an end in the foreseeable future. The Danish shipping company Maersk, to which Hamburg Süd has belonged since 2017, will integrate the brands of its subsidiaries over the course of the year. Hamburg Süd was founded in 1871 and, alongside the Hapag-Lloyd shipping company, was considered the most important pillar of Hamburg-based shipping for decades.
"The company will make the move to a single, unified Maersk brand with the intention of integrating current sub-brands such as Hamburg Süd and Sealand into Maersk," Maersk announced on Friday. The US subsidiary Sealand, which was taken over many years ago, has been the world's most important pioneer in the introduction of modern shipping container logistics since the late 1950s.
"We are positioning Maersk for the next stage of our transformation into an integrated logistics provider," says Karsten Kildahl, Chief Commercial Officer at A.P. Möller - Maersk, the parent company of Maersk Line. The Danish shipping company is currently the second largest liner shipping company in the world after MSC. Maersk took over Hamburg Süd in 2017 from the Bielefeld Oetker Group. The Hamburg Süd fleet has belonged to Maersk for several years. The Hamburg-based company only acts as a marketing organization within the Maersk Group.
“Our intention to appear on the market as a uniform brand and with an overarching corporate organization will enable us to serve our customers even more simply and better. Our goal is to unify our brands in a way that better reflects the reality of our customers,” said Kildahl. “Our current brand structure does not reflect the way our customers have structured their supply chains. We are convinced that this unified approach will give our customers access to a significantly better and richer range of services, regardless of which brand they work with today.”
In Hamburg, the end of Hamburg Süd is not associated with job cuts, said a spokesman for Maersk in the Hanseatic city. The processing of the Hamburg Süd brand, including the redesign of the red freighters, will take some time: "It will happen gradually, and it is expressly not about cutting jobs. In Hamburg and Germany, the Maersk Group is even growing through the expansion of logistics activities. With all brands, we currently have more than 1,600 employees in the city at half a dozen locations.”