Logistics giant Maersk to cut jobs in major streamlining operation

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Updated 02 September 2020

Logistics giant Maersk to cut jobs in major streamlining operation

  • The company sold its oil and gas assets in 2017 to Total as part of its efforts to become a more streamlined company focused on its container

COPENHAGEN: Maersk will cut jobs in a major shake-up that will affect a third of the shipping giant’s staff as it seeks to integrate its seaborne container and in-land logistics businesses, it said on Tuesday.

Maersk, which handles about one in five containers shipped worldwide, has been under pressure from investors to speed its transformation from an unwieldy conglomerate, but has proved resilient in the face of the pandemic.

Cost cuts and its reinstatement of more upbeat guidance last month have helped to double its share price since March.

The company sold its oil and gas assets in 2017 to Total as part of its efforts to become a more streamlined company focused on its container and in-land logistics business for large customers such as Walmart and Nike.

Under the shake-up, its Damco freight-forwarding business and Africa-focused carrier Safmarine will be integrated into Maersk by the end of the year and their brands will cease to exist, Maersk said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Simplifying the organization 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.

A Maersk spokeswoman said that between 26,000 and 27,000 employees out of Maersk’s total headcount of 80,000 will be affected by the restructuring.

The company did not say how many would be laid off and the internal email also gave no detail on the number of job cuts.

Hamburg Sud, which Maersk bought in 2016, will remain a separate brand but its back office will be rolled into that of Maersk, the company said.

The Hamburg Sud unit employs 4,500 people while Damco and Safmarine have 2,300 and 1,100 staff respectively.


Japan’s capital sees prices fall most in over 8 years as COVID-19 pain persists

Updated 27 November 2020

Japan’s capital sees prices fall most in over 8 years as COVID-19 pain persists

  • Tokyo core CPI marks biggest annual drop since May 2012
  • Data suggests nationwide consumer prices to stay weak

TOKYO: Core consumer prices in Tokyo suffered their biggest annual drop in more than eight years, data showed on Friday, an indication the hit to consumption from the coronavirus crisis continued to heap deflationary pressure on the economy.
The data, which is considered a leading indicator of nationwide price trends, reinforces market expectations that inflation will remain distant from the Bank of Japan’s 2% target for the foreseeable future.
“Consumer prices will continue to hover on a weak note as any economic recovery will be moderate,” said Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, which expects nationwide core consumer prices to fall 0.5% in the fiscal year ending March 2021.
The core consumer price index (CPI) for Japan’s capital, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, fell 0.7% in November from a year earlier, government data showed, matching a median market forecast.
It followed a 0.5% drop in October and marked the biggest annual drop since May 2012, underscoring the challenge policymakers face in battling headwinds to growth from COVID-19.
The slump in fuel costs and the impact of a government campaign offering discounts to domestic travel weighed on Tokyo consumer prices, the data showed.
Japan’s economy expanded in July-September from a record post-war slump in the second quarter, when lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus cooled consumption and paralyzed business activity.
Analysts, however, expect any recovery to be modest with a resurgence in global and domestic infections clouding the outlook, keeping pressure on policymakers to maintain or even ramp up stimulus.