UNITED Arab Shipping Company's (UASC) name has emerged among a group of possible contenders to acquire the container shipping arm of Singapore's NOL, as rumours circulate that loss-making APL is to be sold, according to Alphaliner.
"Rumours of a sale of APL have surfaced as the Singapore-based carrier has continuously failed to turn around its loss-making liner business despite several management changes in the past decade," said Arabian Supply Chain.
"A number of potential buyers have been put forward, including OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, CMA CGM, COSCO, UASC and even PIL, although none of these carriers have publicly confirmed their interest," said Alphaliner.
Maritime & Ports Middle East contacted UASC for comment, but a spokesman who requested not to be named said it was unlikely, given the carrier's ambitious expansion programme with 17 ships costing US$2 billion on order at
Hyundai Heavy Industries, comprising eleven 15,000 TEU and six of 18,000 TEU ships.
APL has suffered cumulative losses of US$1.5 billion over the last five years, along with shrinking market share from 4.2 per cent of the global market to 2.9 per cent today.