Industry and other Sectors

Before 1965
Initially, it was mainly in shipping and related areas that A.P. Møller exercised his initiative. Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg (The Steamship Company Svendborg) was established in 1904 and later came Dampskibsselskabet af 1912 (The Steamship Company of 1912), both with focus on shipping.
A.P. Møller’s status in society grew with the business and even in the early years, he had a broad network and from time to time, opportunities arose that were too good to let go, even though they had few or no links to shipping.
A.P. Møller’s overall business principles were to benefit society by creating workplaces, and with this in mind A.P. Møller supported initiatives in all business sectors.

Odense Steel Shipyard
Both the original shipyard from 1918 at the canal in Odense as well as the Lindø yard from 1959 was in operation when Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller became chairman of the board in 1965. Only 10 years after the opening, the new shipyard’s capacity was extended to allow production of 650.000 tons vessels and the landmark of the yard, the portal crane, was constructed. While larger and larger vessels were built at Lindø, the old yard first was utilized for the construction of vessel sections until it was closed in 1980.
During the 1980’s, robots played an important role in the modernization that made Odense Steel Shipyard one of the most efficient yards in the world. The innovation process continued and in 1993 the yard presented ELEO MÆRSK, the world’s first double-hulled super tanker.
The largest customer continued to be the owner and the shipyard was important in the expansion of Maersk Line. Modern and efficient container vessels were developed in cooperation and world records were set in container vessel capacity, i.e. the numbers of containers a vessel can carry. REGINA MÆRSK (1996) had a capacity of more than 6.000 twenty foot containers; SOVEREIGN MÆRSK (1997) had a capacity of more than 6.600 twenty foot containers and EMMA MÆRSK with a capacity of more than 11.000 twenty foot containers was delivered in 2006.
Due to the increasingly difficult competitive situation, in 2009 Odense Steel Shipyard decided to discontinue the shipbuilding activities when the last vessel was delivered, which took place in 2012.

Herman Salling, already well established, wanted a broader foothold in Denmark and he was looking for a partner willing to invest extra capital. In 1964, A.P. Møller and Herman Salling agreed to establish Dansk Supermarked A/S (Danish Supermarkets Ltd.). Each partner subscribed DKK 5 million and both had pre-emptive rights to purchase half of the remaining share capital of DKK 1 million, which was paid by Aarhus Privatbank. According to the agreement, the Maersk shipping companies were not to take part in day-to-day management of the new company, but on the other hand they would receive advance payment in case of liquidation. The latter scenario was not to be. On the contrary, before his death A.P. Møller was able to note, that the investment did very well indeed.
A.P. Moller – Maersk became a majority share holder shortly after Herman Salling’s passing in 2006 and now owns about 2/3 of the company.
More than 44.000 employees service the customers of the Føtex, Netto, Bilka, A-Z and Tøj og Sko stores in Denmark. The Netto discount stores are also present in Germany, Poland and Sweden.
For more information on Dansk Supermarked, please visit (Danish only).

The Plastics Industry
The A.P. Moller – Maersk Group’s involvement in the plastics industry started when the Maersk Refinery was established in 1958 and shortly thereafter DANBRITKEM. Companies like Rosti, OS Plastic, Borup Plast, Svend Andersen Plastik Industri, Maersk Medical, Papyro-Tex og Pharma-Plast were acquired. However, due to a change in the Group’s strategy, most of the enterprises have been divested.

The Seven-Pointed Star in the Air
Maersk Air commenced operations late in 1969 and eventually it became the largest, privately owned airline in Denmark. The activities included scheduled flights, domestic and abroad, charter flights for travel companies, cargo flights and travel agencies. Employees in offices in Denmark and in the largest European markets numbered around 1.800.
Maersk Air was sold in 2004, while Star Air with more than 200 employees and 11 modern aircrafts continues to service the air cargo market.

A Danish IT Venture
In 1956, A.P. Moller acquired a punch card machine. The apparatus was rented with IBM for DKK 38.000 per year and founded electronic data management in the A.P. Moller Group. Starting with three employees, the punch card department evolved into the headquarters IT function of the Group.
On 11 March 1970, the company Mærsk Data was established and its main purpose was to provide IT support to the shipping companies and affiliated companies. A total of 35 employees, some from the former IT department and some new hires, comprised Mærsk Data at the beginning. At the time of divesting to IBM in 2004, Mærsk Data had grown into an international company with more than 3.500 employees and offices in several countries.