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Container Shipping & Trade

Container Shipping & Trade

Maersk – is it developing an IT venture arm?

Tue 13 Feb 2018 by Rebecca Moore

Maersk – is it developing an IT venture arm?

A digital project launched by Maersk in 2016 has not received much attention – could it lead to Maersk developing a new business arm which is an IT venture firm and not a transportation firm?

These are the thoughts of leading container shipping analyst Lars Jensen, chief executive and consultant at SeaIntelligence Consulting.

He pointed out that the Maersk/IBM blockchain initiative has received more coverage than other initiatives, such as Maersk’s company Fromtu, created in December 2016.

He said “First, unlike many of Maersk’s other digitisation projects, this appears not to be mainly focused on transportation. Rather it is a marketplace for trade in certain commodities in Africa – and as such a competitor to platforms such as Alibaba, although the market scope clearly differs. This indicates that Maersk’s digital ambitions range much wider than transportation.”

He added that Fromtu’s banner includes the statement “An AP Moller-Maersk Digital Venture”.

He highlighted the potential significance “This is a phrasing not seen (at least not yet) in any of the other digital initiatives launched by Maersk. However, if we assume this phrasing is not accidental, it does directly imply that Maersk is beginning to see their digital ventures as a business portfolio in itself.”

He said while it is “too early to draw conclusions solely based on this, it does raise the thought whether Maersk is seeing themselves gradually develop a new business arm which is an IT venture firm and not a transportation firm.”

Fromtu is 100% owned by AP Moller-Maersk, according to the Danish Business Registry.

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