Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk is expanding its transport and logistics business as a way to compete directly with shipping giants UPS and FedEx.
According to Reuters, Maersk sold its oil and gas business last year to France’s Total so that it can focus on taking its shipping business to the next level.
“We’re building this company that is a global integrated container business, a company very similar to UPS and FedEx,” CEO Soren Skou told investors at a capital markets day in Copenhagen. “I hope they will be considered peers of ours, when we are done with this journey in three to five years.”
While it is the largest shipping company in the world, handling one in seven containers globally, Maersk has recently missed profit forecasts. Its shares were trading 4.6 percent lower at 10,400 Danish crowns at 1420 GMT.
In order to boost business, Maersk plans to offer quicker and more flexible shipping for its customers around the world.
“Our customers’ businesses are to a large extent changing – they are being disrupted by new technologies, by eCommerce and new ways of doing things,” said Maersk’s chief commercial officer, Vincent Clerc.
The company also announced last month that it is partnering with IBM to create an industry-wide trading platform that will accelerate global trade and save billions of dollars in the process. The companies said that blockchain could help to manage and track tens of millions of shipping containers around the world.
“The big thing that is missing from this industry to digitize and unleash the potential of the technology is really to create a form of utility that brings standards across the entire ecosystem,” Clerc told Reuters at the time.
However, Maersk did not offer investors much detail on Tuesday about the project.
“Many had hoped for something more specific – for example, with regard to how the proceeds from the sale of Maersk Oil will be distributed,” said Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard.