October 4 - Safmarine's internal support and management functions will be integrated into those of its sister company Maersk Line, with the closure of the former's HQ and the maintenance of the brand within the Maersk Liner Business portfolio.
Maersk Liner Business CEO, Eivind Kolding, explains that Safmarine is an important component in the Liner Business strategy, but the need to ensure management efficiencies and control cost has lead to the decision to propose merging Safmarine's management into that of Maersk Line.
Merging such internal support functions and central management involves the closure of Safmarine's Antwerp head office and regional offices in Antwerp, Shanghai, Dubai, Cape Town, and Mumbai, along with centre support functions currently carried out in Singapore and Cape Town.
The changing role of Safmarine's management also brings a shift in responsibilities for the company's leadership. Current CEO, Tomas Dyrbye, will be leaving his position. His successor will be announced in the near future.
Kolding adds that Safmarine will continue to be an important part of the business. "It has proven that a close focus on a particular approach can deliver stronger customer service and lasting relationships - this is core to our mission of redefining shipping."
An official statement says that the Safmarine brand is to be grown further as part of Maersk's liner business strategy of providing differentiated customer offerings.
Safmarine currently operates alongside Maersk Line as a fully independent shipowner and shipping line serving Africa, the Middle East and India. This move will reduce core costs of running both two businesses.
Kolding is certain that the Safmarine brand has a strong future: "It is our clear intention to strengthen the Safmarine brand. Over its long history it has become a force to be reckoned with in its markets and customers value its distinctive approach to deep and lasting relationships."
The MPV business of Safmarine will be unaffected by the integration and continue to be developed from its base in Antwerp.