Hapag-Lloyd AG announces record results

Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd outlines goals such as digitalisation and more sustainability
14 December 2021
Hapag-Lloyd-Schiff Hamburg Express unter Hamburgs Köhlbrand Brücke, Hapag-Lloyd AG, 31.11.

Hapag-Lloyd has announced record figures for the first nine months of 2021 with revenues rising by around 70 per cent to USD 17.9 billion (EUR 15 billion) thanks to the above average freight rate of 1,818 USD/TEU (9M 2020: 1,097 USD/TEU). The rise is based on continuing high demand for container transport amid tight capacities. The company's transport volume grew 3 per cent to 8,980 TTEU over 2020. Hamburg News interviewed Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, about the future of the industry, digitalisation and sustainability.


Hamburg News: There are huge problems in the global supply chain at present despite the good figures. There is a lack of ships, containers, handling capacity, truck drivers and congestion problems. What solutions can Hapag-Lloyd offer as a major stakeholder in the industry?

Rolf Habben Jansen: Global supply chains are under enormous pressure, which has intensified during the third quarter. Shipping companies, freight forwarders, ports and terminals and especially customers worldwide are suffering. We are doing everything we can to resolve the situation with suitable offers, targeted investments and flexible capacity management. We initiated many ongoing countermeasures when the crisis broke out. We are shifting capacities to markets with strong demand and optimising our service network to avoid overloaded ports, among others. We have purchased more ships and containers, increased staff and IT capacity and introduced new digital solutions as well. All this helps to minimise the impact on our clientele.


Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag Lloyd AG
© Hapag Lloyd AG
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag Lloyd
Hapag Lloyd Lading
© Hapag Lloyd AG
Hapag Lloyd Lading

Hamburg News: Hapag-Lloyd has acquired a stake in the JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven. How important is that for the company and the Port of Hamburg?

Rolf Habben Jansen:  Our investment in JadeWeserPort will make us more flexible and will complement our offers beyond the Port of Hamburg. The investment will strengthen German ports and increase our competitiveness, especially in Far East traffic. Hamburg will remain our home port in Germany.

Hamburg News: Digital transformation is also progressing at Hapag-Lloyd. In September, you introduced electronic bills of lading - ship waybills - and took another step towards a paperless future.

Rolf Habben Jansen:  Our "electronic Bill of Lading" offers our customers a much-needed digital solution for the release of such bills. The documents can be issued, transmitted and signed in minutes and without using printers and paper. The whole process is more sustainable, secure and faster ...a real added value for all those involved.

Hamburg News: Hapag-Lloyd aims to make shipping even more sustainable in future. Are you going to switch to liquid natural gas (LNG)?

Rolf Habben Jansen: Fossil LNG is a good transitional solution. However, it is important to bear in mind that although fossil LNG reduces emissions, it does not make us carbon-free. We must replace it with alternative fuels such as biomethane or synthetic methane in the medium to long term. Our twelve 23,500 TEU vessels on order, which we will add to our fleet from 2023, will have dual-fuel propulsion and will run on conventional fuel, LNG or alternative fuels.

Hamburg News: By 2030, the CO2 intensity of Hapag-Lloyd's own fleet is to be cut by 60 per cent compared to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) reference year 2008. How do you intend to achieve this?

Rolf Habben Jansen:...mainly by purchasing new ships, scrapping old ships and using alternative fuels. But refurbishing existing ships also plays a role. We also want to use our fleet more effectively and make operations more efficient which should lower emissions.

Hamburg News: The pandemic has sparked "new work" in many companies virtually overnight. What does modern working look like at Hapag-Lloyd?

Rolf Habben Jansen: Our four branches in Hamburg will be merged into two namely in Rosenstraße and Ballindamm. We want to make work more flexible and modern with creative spaces, quiet zones, areas for hybrid working. All of this makes for an ultra-modern working environment. 

Hamburg News: Many thanks for the interesting talk.

Interview by Yvonne Scheller


Hapag Lloyd's Ballin branch
© Hapag Lloyd AG
Ballin building

Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world's leading liner shipping companies with a fleet of 257 container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.8 million TEU, The company employs around 13,900 people and has 418 branches in 137 countries. Hapag-Lloyd has a container fleet of around 3 million TEU including one of the largest and most modern refrigerated container fleets. Worldwide, 129 liner services provide fast and reliable connections between  600 ports. Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading providers of the Transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and Intra-America trade lanes.

Rolf Habben Jansen joined the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG in April 2014 and was appointed CEO in July 2014. Born in 1966 in Spijkenisse near Rotterdam, Habben Jansen began his career with the former Dutch shipping company, Royal Nedlloyd, after studying economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He held various positions at Danzas before the Swiss logistics company merged with DHL. From 2001, he was responsible for DHL's contract logistics for large parts of Europe and from 2006 was Head of Global Customer Solutions with responsibility for its 100 most important customers. Habben Jansen became CEO of Damco in 2009 - a position which he held for five years.