Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Hapag-Lloyd bares new focus for medium-term strategy through 2023

Global ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd announced a new mid-term strategy for the next five years that is no longer centered on further consolidation but on quality, selectivity, and profitability.

In a release November 21, the Hamburg-based box shipping liner said that for its “Strategy 2023,” it will “focus on significantly improving quality for its customers, selective global growth and becoming profitable throughout the cycle.”

It explained: “Following a period of consolidation, the liner shipping industry has changed significantly. Hapag-Lloyd is more than two times larger than it was in 2014 in terms of transport capacity. At the same time, further consolidation amongst the largest players in the industry is less attractive due to decreasing incremental scale benefits.”

As a result, it continued, the industry has come to a turning point. “Size is not the name of the game anymore, but customer orientation. It is obvious that customers expect more reliable supply chains, so our industry needs to change and invest more. At the same time, we know that people are prepared to pay for value.”

Going forward, it added, delivering value to get the most attractive cargo on board is “at the heart of our new Strategy 2023.”

“To be number one for quality is the ultimate promise to our customers and a strong differentiator from our competitors,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

Strategy 2023 will be based on various elements, with key cost initiatives focused on network optimization, terminal partnering, and further improvements in procurement and container steering.

Furthermore, an optimized revenue management will ensure that the most attractive cargo gets on board. “At the core of the new Strategy is an enhanced differentiation by offering unrivalled levels of reliability and service quality,” said the company.

“Hapag-Lloyd is making changes to its structures, systems, processes and operations and focusing single-mindedly on delivering customers a better and more efficient experience in their supply chains.”

At the same time, there will be more investments in digitalization and automation “to further exploit digital excellence.” One example is to increase the share of the online business via the web channel to 15% of Hapag-Lloyd’s overall volume by 2023.

On financial targets by 2023, the company plans to focus on delivering a return on invested capital which is higher than the weighted average cost of capital.

“This implies an EBITDA margin of approximately 12 percent,” said Hapag-Lloyd. “A cost management programme with a savings run-rate target of USD 350 to 400 million has been launched to ensure a competitive cost position is maintained also after launching the strategy initiatives. On leverage, the net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is targeted to be less than 3.0x with an equity ratio of more than 45 percent. An adequate liquidity reserve of around 1.1 billion US dollar will be maintained.”

One of the world’s leading liner shipping companies, Hapag-Lloyd has a fleet of 222 modern container ships, a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEUs, and a container capacity of about 2.6 million TEUs.

Photo source: Hapag-Lloyd

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