SINGAPORE: Maersk Line has merged its Asia Pacific (Southeast Asia and Oceania) and North Asia (China, Korea and Japan) regional offices into a single Asian headquarters, the container shipping giant confirmed on Wednesday (Feb 3).
The merged headquarters will now be based in Hong Kong. Singapore was previously the regional Asia Pacific office.
The move, which happened on Jan 1, is part of organisational changes announced in November last year, said Maersk Line. With it, the number of regional offices will be reduced from eight to seven.
Said a Maersk Line spokesman: "Combining the two regions will enable simpler and more standardised processes. This will allow us to create a leaner organisation to operate with greater transparency and alignment on a regional, as well as cluster (sub-regional) level."
The management team in Hong Kong will remain and oversee a larger geography moving forward, it added.
MORE JOBS TO BE BASED IN SINGAPORE
With the merger, Maersk Line's Singapore office will now become a country cluster office overseeing business in Southeast Asia, said the firm.
It added that Singapore "remains of strategic importance to the entire Maersk Group", and the conversion to a cluster office for Southeast Asia will "in actual terms lead to more jobs based in the Singapore office as a bigger management team is being set up to head the Southeast Asia cluster."
Mr Bo Wegener, previously the country manager for Thailand and Myanmar, took charge of the Southeast Asia cluster from Jan 1.
Maersk Line says the group has current investments of more than US$12 billion in Singapore, and is one of the largest shipowners here with around 130 vessels and rigs under the Singapore flag.
"We remain committed to the Asia Pacific region and will keep serving our customers through representation in all the countries we currently do business in within the region," the spokesman added.