October 16 - In a sign of its commitment to gaining a greater share of the breakbulk and out-of-gauge cargo market, Maersk has announced that it is purchasing more than 10,000 new flat-rack and open-top containers, increasing the size of its fleet of such

The line stated that these units, currently being integrated into service, already represent a sizable improvement in its breakbulk capacity. Delivery of new equipment will be completed during the fourth quarter of 2009.

"By bringing more focus to the breakbulk market, we are able to offer customers our expertise, experience and resources, developing a true and sustainable transport partnership with breakbulk shippers," said Ed Long, director of project sales for North America.

In comments certain to provoke a response from other carriers, Maersk said its regular liner schedule offered shippers an advantage as many breakbulk carriers offer services intermittently based on specific demands. As a result, claims Maersk, breakbulk shippers have often been subject to irregular and inefficient carrier schedules. By utilising the shipping line's established and consistent schedule of service to plan their shipments, breakbulk shippers can more readily reap the rewards of an efficient, sustainable supply chain.

Do you agree? Let us know what you think about Maersk's comments.