Navigating Emission Reductions through Competition or Collaboration? Maersk in Uncharted Waters

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 23, 2020
Length: 18 pages
Product ID#: 4-510-111

Core Disciplines: International Business, Operations Management/Supply Chain, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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In this case, the CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, considers whether competition or collaboration is the right solution to tackle the industry-wide challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While the shipping industry plays a significant positive role in global trade, it also has a negative impact on the environment due to immense greenhouse gas emissions. Should Maersk collaborate with other industry players through the Getting to Zero Coalition? If so, could Maersk maintain its leading position in the industry? This case study reviews the history, regulation, and impacts of the global ocean freight market and asks students to weigh the costs and benefits of competing versus collaborating to solve the industry-wide emissions problem. In the context of market-transformation, this case provides a unique example of a mature industry adapting to evolving environmental requirements.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks for a company regarding joining an existing coalition versus creating one itself.
  • Identify the major stakeholders in maritime shipping and the environmental impacts of this industry.
  • Explain a successful outcome of this situation for Maersk compared to favorable outcomes for other stakeholders.