By Costas Paris 

AP Moller-Maersk A/S is undertaking a shake-up that could cut scores of jobs as the Danish shipping giant moves to control costs and simplify its business.

A Maersk spokesman said up to 27,000 jobs, or nearly a third of its global workforce, could be affected but didn't say how many of its 80,000 staffers world-wide could be laid off. People with knowledge of the matter said the job reductions could involve employees at Damco and Safmarine, operating units the company said earlier this month would be integrated into the wider group.

"The reorganization is in process and we want to make sure that our employees are informed first," the Maersk spokesman said.

Damco, which specializes in freight forwarding and logistics, employs around 2,000 people and Safmarine, a container operator that mostly serves Africa, employs about 1,000. The people said there may also be redundancies at Hamburg Süd, the German container line that Maersk bought in 2017 for $4 billion and that employs 4,500 people.

"Some will experience big changes, others small. Some are moving to new jobs, and a smaller number will unfortunately become redundant, which we take very seriously," Vincent Clerc, head of Maersk's main ocean and logistics business, said in a statement.

The shake-up was previously reported by Reuters.

Maersk is the world's biggest ocean container line, with about 17% of the world's oceangoing capacity, according to maritime research group Alphaliner. The company has been under pressure by shareholders to complete a reorganization that began in 2016 and split its shipping and logistics operations from the company's energy business.

Maersk Line, like other container companies, sharply curtailed its shipping capacity at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic as global trade pulled back under widespread community lockdowns instituted to slow the virus's spread.

Maersk tripled its second-quarter net profit to $427 million from $141 million a year earlier, strongly exceeding expectations.

Write to Costas Paris at costas.paris@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 18, 2020 11:52 ET (15:52 GMT)

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