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December 4, 2008

Maersk Line lays up eight containerships

Maersk Line today announced the lay up of eight 6,500 TEU container vessels. It said the decision followed recent changes in its Asia-- Europe, Asia --Central America, and Transpacific service networks. This resulted in surplus vessel tonnage, that Maersk will not redeploy in its service network.

"In view of the market conditions, we have reached the point where laying up the eight vessels makes better economical sense than redeploying them. Freight rates remain under severe pressure, and in several corridors the rates do not fully cover our variable costs. Rate improvements are imperative for the industry to create a sustainable environment," says Michel Deleuran, Head of Network and Product in Maersk Line.

Maersk Line says it will continue to adjust capacity in light of market developments by optimizing schedules, consolidating services, vessel sharing agreements (VSA), enhancing port productivity, economical sailing (reducing speed), and--unless current market conditions improve--laying up of additional vessels.

"We make these changes to reduce capacity and save costs, while we at the same time seek to maintain or expand our service level and coverage. For example, our recently announced Asia -- Europe and Transpacific service changes includes more direct services," Michel Deleuran says. "We belong to a financially strong group and we will continue offering our customers reliable services in line with their requirements, also in these challenging times".

The eight vessels that Maersk Line will lay up are of the CV 65 class. Maersk says it will lay them up from December 2008 to May/June 2009, predominantly in Asia.


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