Maersk Line moves their Asia headquarter in Singapore to Hong Kong.
The relocation of their HQ in Asia happens after Maersk Line decided to merge its two largest Asian regions into one. Maersk Line’s HQ for Southeast Asia/Pacific and North Asia (China, Korea and Japan) will be combined into a single Asia/Pacific region headquartered in Hong Kong. The new HQ will be headed by Robert van Trooijen.
The move reduces the container carrier’s combined number of regions from eight to seven. Subsequently, the regional office in Singapore will be shut down as Maersk Line’s HQ for Southeast Asia/Pacific, a region that covers key destinations such as Indonesia and Australia.
The decision also means that a number of functions and jobs are being discontinued at the Singapore office, the most notable of which likely being that Maersk Line’s Regional Manager, Lars Mikael Jensen, has been pulled back to the carrier’s global HQ in Copenhagen.
More jobs to Singapore?
According to a Maersk Line spokesman, the future looks a little brighter for Singapore with the merger.
“Combining the two regions will enable simpler and more standardised processes. This will allow us to create a leaner organisation to operate with greater transparency and alignment on a regional, as well as cluster (sub-regional) level.” said a Maersk Line spokesman to channelnewsasia.com
The management team in Hong Kong will remain and oversee a larger geography moving forward, it added.
With the merger, Maersk Line’s Singapore office will now become a country cluster office overseeing business in Southeast Asia, said the firm.
It added that Singapore “remains of strategic importance to the entire Maersk Group”, and the conversion to a cluster office for Southeast Asia will “in actual terms lead to more jobs based in the Singapore office as a bigger management team is being set up to head the Southeast Asia cluster.”
In a statement to ShippingWatch, the carrier notes the following about the reorganization in Asia:
“This is part of the organisational changes following Maersk Line’s announcement on 4 November 2015. Combining the two regions will enable simpler and more standardised processes. This will allow us to create a leaner organisation to operate with greater transparency and alignment on a regional, as well as cluster (sub-regional) level. We remain committed to the Asia Pacific region and will keep serving our customers through representation in all the countries we currently do business in within the region.”
The announcement year dealt mainly with the huge reduction in the carrier’s workforce, totaling 4,000 employees, which Maersk Line plans to complete in the coming years.
The container carrier expects to cut 4,000 of the total 23,000 on-land positions ahead of 2017 as digitalizations and organizational changes come into full effect.
“We are fewer people today than a year ago. We will be fewer next year and the following year. These decisions are not taken lightly, but they are necessary steps to transform our industry,” said Maersk Line CEO Søren Skou.
Mr Bo Wegener, previously the country manager for Thailand and Myanmar, took charge of the Southeast Asia cluster from Jan 1.
Maersk Line says the group has current investments of more than US$12 billion in Singapore, and is one of the largest shipowners here with around 130 vessels and rigs under the Singapore flag.
“We remain committed to the Asia Pacific region and will keep serving our customers through representation in all the countries we currently do business in within the region,” the spokesman added.