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The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group ( ) is a Danish business conglomerate more commonly known simply as Maersk.Maersk has activities in a variety of business sectors, primarily within the transportation and energy sectors. It is the largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the world.

A.P. Moller - Maersk is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with subsidiaries and offices in more than 135 countries worldwide and around 120,000 employees.It ranked 106 on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2009, up from 131 in 2008.

Business areas

A.P. Moller - Maersk’s activities are organised into four main business segments: Container shipping and related activities; APM Terminals; Tankers, offshore and other shipping activities; Oil and gas activities; Retail acivity; and Shipyards, other industrial companies, interest in Danske Bank, etc.

Katarina von Jägermaister

Container shipping and related activities

"Container shipping and related activities" is the largest business area for A.P. Moller - Maersk, providing almost half of the group's revenue in 2008. It comprises worldwide container services, logistics and forwarding solutions and terminal activities under the brand names: Maersk Line, Safmarineand Damco.

Maersk Line

The largest operating unit in A.P. Moller - Maersk by revenue and staff (around 22,000 employees) is Maersk Line. Involved in global liner shipping services, Maersk Line operates over 450 vessels and has a capacity of 1.9 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). It is currently the largest container shipping company in the world. Maersk Line took delivery of 26 owned vessel in 2008.

In 2006, the largest container ship in the world to date, the PS-class vessel Emma Maersk, was delivered to Maersk Line from Odense Steel Shipyard.


Safmarine is an independently operated shipping company in the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group with roots in Africa. It operates a fleet of more than 40 container vessels and more than 20 MPV’s (Multi Purpose Vessels). [A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S annual Report 2008]

The company has five container vessels and four MPV’s on order for delivery in 2009-2011.


Damco is the new, combined brand of the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group's logistics activities previously known as Maersk Logistics and Damco.

Damco is involved in supply chain management and freight forwarding solutions all over the world. Damco has 10,500 employees in offices in more than 93 countries.

Maersk Line, Limited

Maersk Line, Limited, is a US-based subsidiary of A. P. Moller-Maersk Group which manages a fleet of US-flag vessels and provides U.S. government agencies and their contractors with transportation and logistics services. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginiamarker, it manages the world's largest fleet of US-flag vessels. Beginning with a relatively small number of vessels focused on handling commercial and US Government-subsidised cargoes, MLL's fleet of vessels engaged in commercial liner services.


Maersk Container Industry A/S: Container manufacturing with factories in Tinglev (Denmark), China, and the UK.

Container Inland Services (Includes; Depots, Equipment Repair, Trucking, Container Sales etc.)

APM Terminals

A. P. Moller - Maersk operates approximately 50 container terminals around the world. Nearly 15 of these were originally Sealand Corp. terminals, taken over in 1999. APM Terminals International has its headquarters in The Haguemarker, Hollandmarker.

Tankers, offshore and other shipping activities

Tankers, offshore and other shipping activities" was responsible for 8.8% of Maersk's revenue in 2008, and posted 25% of the group's profit for this period. The business segment comprises Maersk Tankers, Maersk Supply Service, Maersk Drilling, Maersk FPSOs, Maersk LNG, Svitzer and Norfolkline.

Maersk Tankers

Maersk Tankers is involved in transportation of oil and gas product, among others.As of July 2009, Maersk Tankers operates 140 vessels: 20 crude carriers, 91 product tankers, 21 gas carriers, 8 LNG carriers (for liquefied natural gas) All Maersk Tankers’ tankers are double-hulled, an environmental requirement in much of the world following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and other serious oil spills.

Maersk Drilling

Maersk Drilling is involved in drilling activities all over the world. They service a number of oil and gas companies with drilling of exploration and production wells.

By the end of 2008, the fleet consisted of 10 jack-up drilling rigs, 1 semi-submersible drilling rig, 10 drilling barges, and with 2 jack-up drilling rigs and 3 semi-submersible drilling rigs on order.

Maersk Supply Service

Maersk Supply Service provides anchor handling, towage of drilling rigs and platforms as well as supply service to the offshore industry. By the end of 2008, the fleet comprised 39 anchor handling vessels (including one chartered vessel), 11 supply vessels and 3 other vessel, and with 14 anchor handling vessels and 2 supply vessels on order.


Svitzer is involved in towage, salvage and other offshore support and is represented in more than 100 ports. By the end of 2008, Svitzer’s fleet comprised 347 tugboats (including 14 chartered vessels), 32 standby vessels (including 2 chartered vessels) and 145 other vessels (including 12 chartered vessels. 53 tugboats, 4 standby vessels and 1 other vessel are on order.


Norfolkline: Ferries, Ro-Ro- vessels and door-to-door transportation in Europe with transport of around 2.4 million passengers annually.

37.5% ownership share of Höegh Autoliners: By the end of 2008, Höegh Autoliners operated 67 car carriers with a transported volume of 1.9 million car units annually.

Oil and gas activities

Maersk Oil (Danish: Mærsk Olie og Gas A/S) was established in 1962 when Maersk was awarded a concession for oil and gas exploration and production in the Danish sector of the North Sea.[10]

Today, Maersk Oil is engaged in exploration for and production of oil and gas in many parts of the world.[11] Total oil production is more than 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m³/d) and gas production is up to some 1 billion cubic feet (28,000,000 m3) per day. Most of this production is from the North Sea, from both the Danish and British sectors, but there is also production in offshore Qatar, in Algeria and in Kazakhstan.

In addition to the above-mentioned producing sites, Maersk Oil is involved in exploration activities in Danish, British, German and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea, Qatar, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Angola, Gulf of Mexico (US sector), Turkmenistan, Oman, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia and Suriname. Most of these activities are not 100% owned, but are via membership in a consortium.

The company prides itself for having developed production techniques especially suited to difficult environments (North Sea, etc.) and for drilling techniques that succeed in extracting oil from problematic underground conditions.

Maersk Oil has been preliminarily awarded two new exploration licenses, PL472 and PL474, in Norway's latest licensing round in February 2008.

"Oil and gas activities" provided A.P. Moller - Maersk with 22% of its revenue and 68% of its profit in 2008.

Retail activity

Dansk Supermarked Group: Commercial retail and supermarkets: Bilka (hypermarkets), Føtex (quality supermarkets), F. Salling (department stores) and Netto (discount supermarket).

Shipyards, other industrial companies, interest in Danske Bank A/S, etc

Odense Steel Shipyard Group

Odense Steel Shipyard, Denmark; Loksa Shipyard, Estonia; the Baltija Shipbuilding Yard JSC, Lithuania; UAB Baltic Engineering Centre, Lithuania


Production of plastic-based products

Star Air

11 Boeing 767 cargo aircraft, primarily engaged in long-term contract flying for United Parcel Service (UPS) in Europe.

Danske Bank

A.P. Moller - Maersk owns a 20% stake in one of the biggest banks in Scandinavia.

Entry level programmes in A.P. Moller - Maersk

  • Maersk Line Graduate Programme (MLGP)
  • Finance Programme (MIFP)
  • Technology & Science (MITAS)


Maersk International Shipping Education (M.I.S.E.) was the two year management trainee program constituted to develop the future leaders of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.

Each year approximately 450 trainees were enrolled representing more than 80 countries into the M.I.S.E. Programme. Trainees were selected from more than 85,000 applications received each year and underwent an intensive education. The program combined practical and theoretical education across all major divisions of the group with extensive multicultural exposure and international job opportunities within Maersk upon completion.

Starting 2009, the M.I.S.E programme has been discontinued and Maersk will begin to operate business specific entry level programmes. In autumn in 2009 Maersk Line launches a new graduate programme called the Maersk Line Graduate Programme (M.L.G.P).


The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group started as the shipping company Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg, founded by captain Peter Mærsk-Møller and his son Arnold Peter Møller (2 October 1876 - June 1965) in Svendborg, 1904. A.P. Møller had four children, two by each of his two wives Chastine Estelle Roberta Mc-Kinney and Norwegian-born Pernille Ulrikke Amalie Nielsen. A.P. Møller's second child was Arnold Mærsk McKinney Møller (born 13 July 1913). In 1939, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller became a partner in the company. Following the death of A.P. Møller in June 1965, he became CEO of the company and held this post until 1993, when he was succeeded by Jess Søderberg. Beginning in 1965, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller also served as company chairman and did not relinquish this position until December 2003 (90 years old), when the chairmanship was taken oven by Michael Pram Rasmussen. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller is still one of the "managing owners" of the company and was chairman of Odense Steel Shipyard until 2 May 2006.


On the morning of April 8, 2009 the 17,000-ton MV Maersk Alabama was en route to Mombasamarker, Kenyamarker, when it was hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast. The company confirmed that the U.S.-flagged vessel had 20 U.S. nationals onboard. This was the first time that the US had had to deal with a situation in which Americans were aboard a ship seized by pirates in over 200 years. By noon, the Americans were able to resist the pirates and regain control of the ship. However, the pirates retreated on a covered life boat and held the captain hostage for four days.[14] On April 12, 2009, it was confirmed that the captain held hostage was freed by the US Navy, where SEAL sharpshooters killed three of the pirates with only three shots. A fourth pirate Abduhl Wal-i-Musi surrendered earlier due to a medical injury.

See also




  • Peter Suppli Benson, Bjørn Lamnek and Stig Ørskov: Mærsk · manden og magten, Politiken Bøger, 2004 ("Maersk · The Man and Power", in Danish).
  • Lotte Folke Kaarsholm, Cavling Prize recipient Charlotte Aagaard (Information) and Osama Al-Habahbeh (Al-Jazeera in Denmark): Iraqi Port Weathers Danish Storm, CorpWatch, 31/1/2006.
  • Christian Jensen, Tomas Kristiansen and Karl Erik Nielsen: Krigens købmænd, Gyldendal, 2000 ("The Merchants of War", in Danish)

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