“After careful review, we concluded that the consolidation of activities at one plant will provide a strengthened capacity utilisation and a simpler cost structure. This will in turn allow us to better serve our customers and focus on innovation responding to the growing demand for reefer container technology,” says Sean Fitzgerald, CEO of Maersk Container Industry.
Starting production in 1998, the facility in Qingdao was the original Maersk Container Industry reefer factory and has during changing market conditions proved its capability to produce high quality products for the industry.
Since 2015, the San Antonio facility has delivered Star Cool Integrated™ containers to Maersk Container Industry’s global customers directly in the export hub on the west coast of Latin America. In the past several years, the reefer container market has changed fundamentally towards heavy overcapacity. At the same time, it has been challenging for Maersk Container Industry to develop a localised supply chain base of raw materials and key components to support its factory. As a result, manufacturing at the facility has shown not to be competitive in the global markets.
“The harsh reality is that to be competitive today requires us to adapt our operations constantly. Fundamental market factors have changed and so must we to grow with the market,” added Fitzgerald. “Regrettably, this decision impacts our 1,209 skilled colleagues in San Antonio and we are committed to supporting them and honouring our obligations.”
Maersk Container Industry is part of A.P. Moller – Maersk, an integrated container logistics company which operates several other activities in Chile and employs 10,000 employees in Latin America. A.P. Moller – Maersk’s other entities in Chile and the region are unaffected by this consolidation.
Consolidating reefer container production will leave Maersk Container Industry with headquarters with Research & Development and test facilities in Denmark, and two facilities in China manufacturing reefer and dry containers respectively.