macandrews line

MacAndrews has become the latest iconic shipping name to be consigned to the history books. 

CMA CGM has lost no time in establishing recently acquired Finnish intra-European shortsea specialist Containerships as its sector brand, displacing its 249-year-old subsidiary. 

CMA CGM announced it was “pleased to announce the union of its Containerships and MacAndrews brands under the single Containerships brand”. 

Containerships and MacAndrews combined offer 26 maritime and eight inland services, operated through a fleet of 32 vessels and 700 trucks. 

CMA CGM will be looking for cost synergies from the merger: by combining back offices; cutting staff; and rationalising service providers and agency contracts. 

Explaining the French transport and logistics firm’s decision to dispense with the MacAndrews brand, founded in 1770, CMA CGM’s senior vice president for Short Sea Lines Med & North Europe, Guillaume Lathelize, said: “By joining two recognised and complementary intra-European experts, the CMA CGM group will create and develop a multimodal transport intra-European leader. 

The news follows last week’s announcement to the Helsinki Stock Exchange that Containerships chief executive Kari-Pekka Laaksonen had resigned, and would be replaced by Claude Lebel, the CEO of MacAndrews. 

Mr Lebel joined CMA CGM in 2005 and took the helm at MacAndrews after the head office was relocated from London to Hamburg last year. 

Iberian trade specialist MacAndrews was acquired by CMA CGM in 2002. The carrier also snapped up 1882-founded Canary Islands and Iberian carrier OPDR in November 2014. 

CMA CGM merged Hamburg-headquartered OPDR into MacAndrews in January 2017, rebranding them as MacAndrews and transferring the latter’s head office to Hamburg. OPDR had 310 employees and MacAndrews 285, mainly based at its London office, and The Loadstar understands that a number of HQ personnel declined the offer to transfer to Hamburg. 

Rampant consolidation in the deepsea liner industry, which has led to seven major carriers controlling 75% of container trade, has cascaded into the shortsea and feeder sectors. 

Moreover, as the industry faces increased headwinds, the owners of shortsea brands prefer to see cost-saving synergies from internal consolidation, rather than the commercial benefits of a household name, such as OPDR and MacAndrews. 

Indeed, in the case of Maersk, the carrier announced last year it was wrapping its three very successful intra-regional brands – MCC Transport, Seago and Sealand –into one entity: Sealand. It said the reason was “due to their many similarities”, despite “operating in different parts of the world”. 

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