Detailed SWOT Analysis of Maersk – The Largest Container Shipping Line

Updated on: Feb 13, 2022

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Last time we had a look at the detailed SWOT analysis of Shell, an Anglo Dutch-based multinational oil and gas company. This time we will dive deep into the SWOT analysis of Maersk and its work.

From 1996 until 2021, Maersk has been the world’s largest container shipping line and vessel operator. This blog will help you understand its two separate divisions – Transport & Logistics, and Energy. Maersk is responsible for everything from the farm to your refrigerator, the factory to your clothes. From one end of the supply chain to the other, Moller – Maersk is developing solutions to meet customer needs. 

Maersk has a worldwide reach and has hence been able to grow online as well. The world has now gone digital and since growing digitally is an ever-changing aspect, learning about some digital marketing skills right now is an amazing opportunity. If you are interested in learning you can check out the Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

In this blog, we will cover the SWOT analysis of Maersk analyzing the brand by its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. Before we begin further with the SWOT analysis of Maersk, let us discuss the company, what products it has to offer, its financials and its competitors.

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About Maersk,

SWOT Analysis of Maersk - Maersk Container

A.P. Moller-Maersk is a container logistics company and a member of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. Moller Group is a company based in Denmark. To help their customers develop and thrive, they connect and simplify trade. With the help of a devoted staff of about 83,000 people, they go beyond great lengths to facilitate global trade in around 130 nations.

Maersk is a Danish shipping corporation that specializes in ocean and inland freight transportation, as well as supply chain management and port operations. From 1996 until 2021, Maersk was the world’s largest container shipping line and vessel operator. Their company has a long history of pioneering success and expansion. Their lengthy history and their values guide their daily operations and ensure that they can continue to do so in the future.

Quick Stats on Maersk
Founder Arnold Peter Møller, Peter Mærsk Møller
Year Founded 1904
Origin Denmark
No. of Employees 83,000+
Company Type Public
Market Cap $65.31 Billion (2022)
Annual Revenue US$ 62 billion (2021)
Net Income/ Profit US$ 18 Billion (2021)

Products By Maersk

  • Container shipping and terminals
  • Logistics and freight forwarding
  • Ferry and tanker transport
  • Semi-submersible drilling rigs and FPSOs
  • Oil and gas exploration and production
  • Shipyards
  • Store retail

Competitors of Maersk 

Here a Maersk competitors analysis 

  • Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • COSCO International 
  • Hapag-Lloyd
  • DB Schenker

Now that we know everything we need to know about Maersk, let’s start with the SWOT analysis of Maersk.

SWOT Analysis Of Maersk

SWOT analysis is like a formula for identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) that a market possesses for a company. The main objective of this analysis is to help us, as investors and the company, to make business decisions wisely.

By using this method, we analyze where the company is falling short, where it is excelling, and what needs to be worked upon.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of Maersk, refer to the infographic below:

SWOT Analysis of Maersk - SWOT Infographics of Maersk  

So let us first start by looking at the strengths of Maersk from the SWOT analysis of Maersk.

Strengths of Maersk

The strengths of a firm can be positive qualities that help the company to maintain goodwill in the market or give it a competitive advantage. Mentioned below are some of Maersk’s strengths:

  • Global Network: Maersk is one of the world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operators. It employs approximately 80,000 people worldwide and operates in more than 120 countries.
  • Vast Business: Other than shipping and logistics, the company engages in oil and gas exploration, store retail and production since its inception. Vast business in the market gives Maersk a complete edge over its competitors and open broad revenue streams.
  • Strong Legacy: The company has a strong global brand and reputation as a major leader in the market. Maersk has a strong legacy dating back to 1928. The company’s trade routes between Eurasia, the Atlantic, South America, and Africa are strong.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Maersk is very strong in terms of engagement levels with its clients and a dedicated customer care team 24/7 to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction. The customer relationship management team has successfully established goodwill in the market by attending to the needs of existing and potential customers with developing innovative solutions.

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  • Social Responsibility: Maersk is working on making a greener environment and sustainable development with its bold moves. Maintaining the right environment for the right people comes under the core values of Maersk.
  • Exploring New Markets: Maersk has a record of exploring and conquering new markets while having the advantage of consumer satisfaction. The worldwide expansion of the company has helped build a new revenue stream. Therefore, Maersk can be considered an experienced player when it comes to entering new markets.

Weaknesses of

Weaknesses are the areas where the company is lacking behind and needs improvement. Let’s have a look at the weaknesses of Maersk:

  • Visibility in Other Sectors: Although Maersk is known well in the global market for its supply and logistics services, somehow Maersk lacks in its visibility in road and air transportation which are said to be important sources to generate more revenue. 
  • High Costs of Operations: With a growing network the costs of operations of the company pose a critical challenge to the business. It can also cause fluctuating profit margins for Maersk.
  • Distinct Work Cultures: Integration of companies with distinct work cultures has not been very successful. As previously said, while Maersk is adept at integrating small businesses, it has had some failures when it comes to merging businesses with distinct work cultures.
  • Strong Government Regulations and Policies: There are strong government rules and regulations that make operational efficiency low and create a hindrance in the working of a company.
  • Need for Investment: Compared to the other firms already present in the industry, Maersk spends less than average on R&D. The company has created a mature image in the market which means that it will not be able to compete with other players in the market in terms of innovation until the investment budget is increased by the central government which also means that it is missing out on new opportunities.

Opportunities for Maersk

Opportunities are uncontrollable external events a person can potentially leverage. These are favourable external factors that could give an organisation a competitive advantage. 

  • Geographical Expansion: Expanding its consumer base geographically by offering additional services can help the company grow. Maersk can also expand through strategic partnerships, alliances and joint ventures.
  • Technological Advancements: Technological advancements and improved equipment and tools can aid the company’s growth and long-term sustainability. The world has started to prefer brands that support environmental health. Maersk’s current mission and vision clearly state that it is working its way towards greener renewable energies and emerging sustainable technologies which, if pursued correctly can give the firm a huge advantage.
  • Increase in Fuel Demand Because of Industrialization: Economic growth policies designed to increase revenue and industry will increase energy consumption. As most of the energy needs of developing countries meet mineral burning, economic growth and industrial development policies will clash with sustainable development.
  • Economic Development: Economic development and rising consumer spending, after years of economic decline and slow growth rate in the industry, is Maersk’s opportunity to capture new customers and expand its market share.

Threats to Maersk

Threats are the external factors that may cause loss to the firm over time or all at once. Some of these are stated below keeping Maersk in mind:

  • Criticism: Maersk has been criticized several times such as trade unions and labour rights organizations have criticized Maersk’s labour practices in different parts of the world and the US government overcharging allegations in Iraq & Afghanistan.
  • Economic Unseen Events: Economic slowdown and fluctuations in global currencies might have an influence on margins. Changes in regulation in various nations may have an impact on Maersk’s commercial operations.
  • Political Volatility: Electricity and gas have been a very important subject of discussion between many countries for the last century. Energy demands and production are always surrounded by politics. Maersk has the disadvantage of becoming a victim of political development in the future.
  • Intense Competition: Increased competitors’ technologies and profit stability have increased the competition in the industry over the last two years which has put downward pressure on not only profit but also sales.
  • The Rising Cost of Production: No company can completely avoid the rising costs of production. Maersk, sustainably producing electricity and gas will have to face these costs at a higher and larger scale.

This ends our detailed SWOT analysis of Maersk. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

Maersk, being one of the industry’s leading companies, has a number of advantages that help it succeed in the marketplace. In the SWOT Analysis of Maersk, we observed that the company has a strong global brand and reputation as a major leader in the market. It has a global network that connects 1380 countries with its presence in fields such as transportation, energy, and logistics. But it also suffers from low visibility in road and air transportation and has a high cost of operations. 

As the Maersk company works to address its problems, the most serious one is a lack of marketing initiatives. With rising competition in the market, corporations are left to fight it out by bettering their marketing efforts to win over their customers.

With the growing importance of digital marketing, it’s critical to educate yourself in this area. Marketing is a critical component of every company’s success, and in today’s world, the area is increasingly evolving. If you want to learn more and improve your skills, check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course to know more.

We hope this blog on the SWOT analysis of Maersk has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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