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COPENHAGEN: September 19, 2018. A.P. Moller - Maersk is to combine its Damco supply chain services and Maersk Line's ocean product in a bid become a global, integrated container transport and logistics company.

The new organisation will operate with one management team and sales force headed by Vincent Clerc, Maersk chief commercial officer. Damco's freight forwarding operation will continue to run as a separate and independent business with current COO Saskia Groen In't Woud CEO of the new entity called Damco Freight Forwarding.

"Today we are taking further steps in the transformation of our business on a structural level and how we go to market, enabling us to offer more solutions to our customers in a simpler way,” declared Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Maersk RotterdamSkou also announced that three of A.P. Moller - Maersk's regional carrier brands, MCC Transport, Sealand and Seago Line, will be known as ‘SeaLand - A Maersk Company’ from October 01.

"This integration marks a big milestone on Maersk's current growth journey towards operating as one integrated company. We are in a strong position to deliver solutions that meet our customers end-to-end supply chain management needs,” he added.

In a separate move Maersk Line has announced it will apply a Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) surcharge from January 2019. The shipping company says this is to compensate for the increased costs associated with a global sulphur cap of 0.5 percent adopted by the International Maritime Organisation that enters into force the following year.

Maersk says the cost of its compliance will be US$2 billion and the BAF will replace a current Standard Bunker Adjustment Factor surcharge. “The new BAF is a simple, fair and predictable mechanism that ensures clarity for our customers in planning their supply chains for this significant shift," claimed Clerc.

The British International Freight Association (BIFA), the trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies, has described Maersk’s move as “unjustified and blatant profiteering”. Director general Robert Keen commented: “BIFA members are now faced with the task of explaining yet another surcharge to their customers, and what the rationale behind it is. The sulphur surcharge is bound to be extremely unpopular.”

Last month A.P. Moller - Maersk and Royal Vopak announced they would set up a 0.5 percent sulphur content bunker facility at Rotterdam to cater for 20 percent of Maersk Line’s global requirements. “We trust that this initiative will put to rest some of the concerns the industry has on fuel availability as well as secure our continued competitiveness in the market,” commented Niels Henrik Lindegaard, head of Maersk Oil Trading.

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