SINGAPORE - The world's top shipping firm Maersk Line has merged its two largest Asian operations into one, Shipping Watch reported.
Following the merger, Maersk Line's Singapore outfit will become a country cluster office which will oversee Southeast Asian operations while Hong Kong will serve as headquarters for its entire Asia-Pacific operations. The merger will reduce the number of Maersk's regional offices from eight to seven.
"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," said a Maersk Line spokesman in a statement.
The move will lead to more jobs based in Singapore as a bigger management team is being set up to head the Southeast Asia cluster, added the spokesman.
The news comes on the back of an announcement last November that Maersk Line was to embark on a series of cost-cutting initiatives. The firm is also expected to cut 4,000 of the 23,000 on-land job positions worldwide.
Maersk Line CEO Søren Skou said: "We are fewer people today than a year ago. We will be fewer next year and the following year. These decisions are not taken lightly, but they are necessary steps to transform our industry."
According to Shipping Watch, the carrier began to reduce capacity on its routes in the fourth quarter of last year. It had also downgraded its full-year 2015 forecast by US$600 million (S$857.31 million) last October.