Safmarine moves in with Maersk
IOL Business - Feb 1st 2012, 08:19
The Safmarine shipping line – whose ships are a familiar sight entering and leaving Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth harbours – no longer has a separate corporate structure from the Danish Maersk line, whose owners, the AP Moller-Maersk group, bought it from Safren and Old Mutual in 1999.
But it would continue to function as a separate brand from the Maersk line, its new chief executive, South African Grant Daly, added yesterday.
It would continue to employ 1 400 people in 130 countries, and to carry exports ranging from fruit and vegetables to chemicals, clothing and footwear all over the world, with increasing business between emerging economies including the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc.
Daly said that although Safmarine was moving its head office from Belgium this week to share that of Maersk in Copenhagen, it would continue to exist as a separate brand within the group and its relationship with customers would be unchanged.
The decision to cut costs by ceasing to maintain separate head offices in two different European countries and to combine corporate functions, such as human resources, had been taken in view of the “challenging” economic conditions in the euro zone and concern that renewed growth in the US “may have been overstated”.
The headquarters of its South African operation would remain in Cape Town, in the offices in the V&A Waterfront to which it moved several years ago from nearer the city centre.
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