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Hapag-Lloyd seeks savings to offset coronavirus losses: CEO

FILE PHOTO: A Hapag-Lloyd container is pictured at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg Germany July 26, 2018. Picture taken July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German container line Hapag-Lloyd HLAG.DE is to implement cost cuts to take account of the coronavirus crisis, its chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said on Wednesday.

In a call with reporters, he said the Hamburg-based firm, the world’s fifth largest shipping operator, would seek cost cuts by a “mid three-digit million euro sum this year.”

A slump in demand and a bunching of shipments due to a disruption in global logistics meant reduced port calls and empty sailings on certain routes, while costs to handle the mismatches had risen, he said.

But Hapag-Lloyd was operating from a healthy capital base and could respond quickly to a rebound in activities while China was emerging out of its slowdown, he added.

Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Thomas Seythal