Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Film Shows More Than Just Another Container Shipping and Freight Forwarding Company

Maersk Unveil Their New Sales and Promotion Tool for the Decade
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Last night in London AP Moller Maersk unveiled their latest project, and it had nothing yet everything to do with shipping. Owners of the world’s largest container freight carrier, Maersk Line, has taken time and resources to define itself on film and, as opposed to just the usual self congratulatory sales promotion, intends to use the two hundred hours of footage retained from the project to demonstrate to customers and staff, both current and future, exactly what the Danish giant stands for in terms of new energy discovery and retrieval techniques as well as its traditional fields of bulk and container shipping, freight forwarding and logistics.

Maersk is a suitably complex group with four main divisions and numerous specialist subsidiaries but one can glean, even from the brief twelve minute version of the film shown last night, that this is a company with salt water running through its veins. The bulk of Maersk activities take place offshore and the company doesn’t generally do ‘small’. Maersk took no chances in preparing its epic with three separate film crews consisting of twenty one specialists touring around forty cities for thousands of hours and headed by internationally respected film director Christoffer Boe and cinematographer Manuel Claro, both winners at Cannes.

Unlike so many in the world of freight and logistics Maersk is aware of the digital reach of a production like this. What may appear at first to be an indulgent display of self aggrandisement to others involved in the freight trade can also be viewed as a shrewd and logical way of letting all and sundry know who and what you are. Maersk have ‘form’ in this regard, seven years ago they made their first publicity film and showed it around the world. According to Head of Media relations Steen Reeslev the film ‘got away’ in Nigeria and was shown four times on Nigerian television resulting in a flood of job applications and comments which produce results even now, demonstrating the journalistic principle in his words “Don’t tell it, show it”.

Maersk have a 108 year pedigree which they are plainly proud to flaunt but it is hard not to be impressed by the scope of their operations Mr Reeslev himself was plainly overawed by watching how Senior Toolpusher, Ben Pomford explained how the 53,000 tonne rig he works on for Maersk Drilling off the coast of New Mexico can be kept in place over a spot about the size of a fifty pence piece whilst boring up to 12 kilometres deep in search of oil, using its eight turbo thrusters (four active plus four ‘just in case’) and GPS technology, wind sensors and a whole array of computer controls unthinkable just a few years ago to stay ‘on the money’.

As we have pointed out before Maersk stay ahead of the game by diversifying, they are likely to remain the world’s top container shipping group and traditional areas, such as those handled by Maersk Line and freight forwarding and logistics subsidiary Damco will remain important to them but the limited version of the film shown last night left a sense that this is a company that has woken up to the fact it is in transition with energy playing a much more important part in its future than hitherto anyone, even most within the group, had realised.

The closing speech by Senior Partner, Maersk MC-Kinney Moller, R. af E., at 98 still an imposing and lucid figure focused on his personal attitude which has been moulded during his incredible seventy two year association with the group insisting one’s word should be one’s bond and that a policy of constant care coupled with ensuring things are done right first time will ensure success in the world of shipping. Maersk plainly are committed to this view that they are preparing for the future using old principles but coupled with modern promotion techniques and the film will no doubt impress potential employees and customers for some considerable time to come.

Different versions of the film can be seen HERE.