- Hamburg Sud, the shipping arm of the Oetker conglomerate and the seventh-largest shipping line by capacity, may be up for sale, according to various news reports.
- At present, Hamburg Sud owns 44 vessels and charters 72 more, with a further 8 on order. Hamburg Sud is also one of the few global shipping lines still unaffiliated with an alliance and recorded $6.7 billion in revenue last year.
- Maersk Line is allegedly considering a purchase of Hamburg Sud to expand its presence in Latin America, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
With the industry in chaos and conglomerates and affiliations growing, it's unsurprising that an independent line may be choosing to leave the field at a time when acquisitions are common.
Though Maersk is thought to be first in line to acquire Hamburg Sud, it's still anyone's guess which line will wind up buying the shipping line. Likely buyers include Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM and COSCO, although each has recently merged with or acquired another global line. Previously, Hapag-Lloyd entered merger talks with Hamburg Sud in 2013, though the talks ultimately failed, American Shipper reports.
The prize for the purchasing shipping lines is an expanded presence in Latin America, where Hamburg Sud calls on over 30 ports. More than half of the company's container shipping capacity is carried on vessels larger than 5,000 TEU in capacity.
If Maersk were to fully acquire the company, it would reach nearly 3.9 million TEU in capacity and control 18.6% of global capacity according to statistics from Alphaliner.