Maersk Orders New Ships, But Does This Mean An Economic Recovery?

An article on the Manilla Bulletin Publishing Corporation’s web site on February 27, 2011,  explains that international ocean freight giant, Maersk, will be substantially expanding their fleet.

As per the article:

“Maersk Line has signed a contract with Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. to build 10 of the world’s largest and most efficient vessels, with an option for an additional 20 vessels. Scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2015, they will entirely change the shipping industry’s understanding of size and efficiency.”

Here is a link to the complete article:

So at first glance, this sounds like a very positive sign for the economy, as an increase in business must be the impetus for this fleet expansion by Maersk.

But why would Maersk buy new ships rather than just taking over a competitor?

Surely the latter is a better method of expansion for such a massive company, killing two birds with one stone by buying a competitor while increasing their fleet.

The reality of the situation is that with rampant inflation across the globe and turmoil in the Middle East, the price of fuel is going up every day. So this move by Maersk is done more from the desire to reduce costs and become more efficient, than to expand.

By going the route of hyper-efficient, super-massive ships Maesrk will trade a short-term increase in costs for a longer term saving.

With the world still in the grips of a lingering recession, this is a path that more and more companies and likely to take.

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