Also, in 2021, the world was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. People and businesses around the world faced immense challenges to health, to livelihoods and to global supply chains.  

Across A.P. Moller - Maersk globally, we have lost more than 90 colleagues to COVID-19, and many more colleagues have lost friends and family members.  

We remained focused on protecting our people, supporting our customers and contributing to society by keeping goods flowing despite very challenging conditions. This was only possible through the incredible commitment and efforts from our 95,000 employees around the world.  

Strategy strongly verified by customers

Five years ago, A.P. Moller - Maersk was a diversified conglomerate. We are now well on our way to becoming a fully integrated logistics company that offers ocean, air and land transportation as well as fulfilment services and digital supply chain management to our customers globally.  

The vision we defined in 2016 of becoming The Global Integrator of Container Logistics – connecting and simplifying our customers supply chains, has been vali­dated by customer demand over the last two years. Our strategy of offering end-to-end and integrated logistics based on control of crucial capacity: ships, containers, warehouses, ports and aircrafts has delivered massive growth in Logistics & Services.  

After decades of optimisation, keeping cost and inventory to a minimum, many customers now see the need to rethink their supply chain as resilience, flexibility, connectivity, and the ability to rapidly respond to supply chain shocks have become key competitiveness drivers. As a result, logistics is moving up the strategic agenda.  

The conversations with our customers changed during the year, from procurement-led freight rate discussions to more holistic partnership-based discussions focused on how we truly partner with them to solve their problems and keep their supply chains running end to end.  

Significant progress on the transformation

Exceptional market conditions led to record-high growth and profitability in A.P. Moller - Maersk due to significant increase in container freight rates in Ocean. In response to the extraordinary market situation, we expanded the fleet and container capacity, grew our global warehousing footprint and increased the terminal capacity. While we spent a tremendous effort on mitigating impacts to our customers, we also made fundamental strategic progress in building a more stable, more profitable Ocean business that is less affected by industry dynamics, as we significantly increased the volumes carried on contracts based on expanded relationships with customers.  

We have built a profitable growth engine in Logistics & Services, outperforming the market on top-line growth. We grew the Logistics & Services business by 41% in 2021, of which 34% was organic growth, predominantly with our largest customers in Ocean. In the coming years, we expect to continue to grow organically well above market growth in Logistics & Services.  

During 2021, we made milestone acquisitions in Logistics & Services to close capability gaps and strengthen our geographical presence. We have acquired well-managed, profitable businesses to super charge logistic growth through cross-selling to our 70,000 Ocean customers.  

We acquired Visible Supply Chain Management, B2C Europe and HUUB, bringing strong e-commerce capabilities to A.P. Moller - Maersk in North America and Europe, respectively. In the fall, we announced the intended acquisition of Senator International, a leading air-based logistics company with global reach. And at the end of 2021, we announced the intention to acquire LF Logistics, a significant contract logistics player with premium reputation and vast footprint across Asia-­Pacific. By bringing these companies into the A.P. Moller - Maersk group, we further accelerate our ambition to be an end-to-end logistics partner fully capable of increasing ease, flexibility and speed in our customer’s supply chains.  

In our Terminals business, we set out to strengthen profitability by focusing on efficiency and utilisation, a journey that already in 2021 resulted in strong financial performance with a ROIC of 10.9%, hence above our target of minimum 9%. We are thus well placed to continuously deliver strong and stable earnings in Terminals, despite adding resources to mitigate bottlenecks. 

In response to the extraordinary market  situation, we expanded the fleet and  container capacity, grew our global warehousing footprint and increased the terminal capacity. While we spent a tremendous effort on mitigating impacts to our customers, we also made fundamental strategic progress.

A key enabler of our strategy is the digital transformation, where we have accelerated our activities during 2021, and we see increased digital adoption by our customers. Turnover on our platform (,, mobile, EDI) reached USD 38bn, as we have been rolling out new digital platforms to standardise and improve customer experience.  

During the year, the traffic on increased by 15%, and search for our Ocean products increased by 52%. The number of bookings processed on our mobile app increased more than 15-fold, indicating a huge shift in how customers prefer to engage with us. Additionally, we offer instant booking confirmation for 70% of the transactions on and provide an instant confirmation for delivery orders, an industry first.  

As mentioned in the introduction, the success of our transformation depends on our ability to retain and attract world-class talent. We now have a strong product and engineering team of close to 5,000 talented people. During 2021 we welcomed more than 1,300 new engineering colleagues and thereby we significantly reduced our dependence on external contractors.

ESG integrated into core business

During the year, we have reframed our sustainability work into a comprehensive ESG strategy, establishing the multiple ESG demands from stakeholders as a prerequisite for the successful delivery of our business strategy. As we embark on integrating our updated ESG ambitions across the business, we are committed to tying performance on the key ESG metrics to executive remuneration from 2023.  

Decarbonisation of logistics is the area where we can make the greatest impact. Already in 2018, A.P. Moller - Maersk took a leadership role with a strong commitment to decarbonise our shipping operations by 2050 and develop scalable solutions to help the entire industry reduce its carbon footprint. Since then, we have continuously accelerated our actions and ambitions and are convinced that while shipping is a so-called hard-to-abate industry, there is a credible pathway to decarbonisation over the next two decades through green fuels based on Power-to-X technology.  

The biggest immediate challenge is the availability and cost of the green fuels of the future. Governments and industry must work together across the value chain to address this. But it is doable.  

In 2021 and early 2022, we took decisive action by ordering 12 large container vessels capable of operating on green methanol, to be delivered in 2024 and 2025.  

Finally, we can now launch new targets and a more ambitious vision to decarbonise not just shipping, but our entire shipping and logistics business by 2040 – ten years ahead of the original commitment – and to halve our impact from scope 1 and 2 emissions over the next decade. We are committed to ensuring alignment of our targets with the science-based 1.5-degree pathway. We continue to be grateful for the strong support of our customers, shareholders and societal stakeholders on this journey, and we look forward to working with them in the coming years to build and scale a market for cost-competitive, decarbonised logistics solutions that will help take the world’s global supply chain in the direction of the 1.5°C threshold by 2030.  

In addition, our ESG strategy also comprises core commitments on the social and governance dimensions: We will ensure that our people thrive at work by providing a safe and inspiring workplace, creating an engaging environment for all colleagues, facilitating diversity of thought and ensuring that Maersk is a safe place to work. And we are committed to ensuring that our business practices are responsible and transparent across our entire operations and supply chain, with high standards of compliance and ensuring our employees act ethically and in accordance with our values. 

The financial performance in 2021

2020 was the year a microscopic virus brought the world to a halt – 2021 continued to bear its repercussions and knock-on effects, and many of the challenges faced in 2020 continued; we continued to show strength and exceptional dedication to serve our customers and keep their supply chains running. As a result of the continuation of exceptional market conditions, the financial performance of A.P. Moller - Maersk set new records, and our results have enabled us to invest in our long-term transformation, digitisation and decarbonisation while at the same time providing our shareholders with solid cash returns.

2022 – Accelerating the transformation

The record-high financial performance of 2021 has enabled us to accelerate the investment in our long-term transformation, digitisation and decarbonisation, while at the same time providing our shareholders with solid cash returns.  

In 2022, we will continue to focus on growing our Logistics & Services business, expanding our product portfolio across all relevant segments and increase cross-­selling to our customers to deliver profitable, organic growth. We will continue to close capability gaps and add digital platforms to our portfolio, while harvesting the commercial synergies from the acquisitions announced in 2021.  

In Ocean, our focus will be on developing existing products, as well as continuing to increase the level of long-term contracts, serving the needs of our long-standing customers with whom our integrated offering resonates the strongest. Further, we remain focused on optimising our transportation network and cost structure to ensure earnings are stabilised, delivering sustainable returns in our largest business.  

In Terminals, our focus continues to be on maintaining the current momentum on profitability while leveraging the synergies with the Ocean and Logistics & Services business.  

Finally, we stand committed to restoring schedule reliability. The challenge is multi-­faceted, and we have taken multi-faceted action to make meaningful progress during 2022 and offer our customers a more consistent service, despite highly challenging market conditions.

In 2021 and early 2022, we took decisive action by ordering 12 large container vessels capable of operating on green methanol, to be delivered in 2024 and 2025.

Thank you for your continued support

We would like to thank our customers for trusting us with their supply chains during a highly uncertain year. We will continue to do our utmost to serve their needs and alleviate disruptions that impact their businesses.  

Massive and joint efforts are still needed to work through uncertainties triggered by the pandemic. We stay committed to contributing to a fast, just and sustainable recovery.  

We would also like to thank our largest shareholder A.P. Moller Holding A/S and the Board of Directors for their competent guidance and support throughout the year. In 2021, Dorothee Blessing stepped down and we welcomed Amparo Moraleda as a new member of the Board, adding valuable and relevant experience within digital transformation, remuneration and strategy.  

Finally, we thank our 95,000 colleagues deeply for their truly extraordinary efforts to keep trade moving under such challenging conditions. The company is as strong as ever, our strategy is working and is being executed well and even more importantly, we have laid the groundwork for long-term, sustainable growth.

Jim Hagemann Snabe 
Chairman of A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S

Søren Skou 
CEO of A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S

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