The 12 vessels, which constitute "a variety in class, size, age, and engine type", are currently managed in-house by Maersk, but will be managed over the next five years from the German companies’ respective offices in Hamburg.
"We believe we are among the best ship managers and that our crews are among the best. But we want to verify and challenge this belief. We have therefore decided to contract third-party ship managers to take on the full ship management of 12 of our vessels for a period of five years,” Ole Graa Jakobsen, Maersk Line’s head of technical operations, said in a statement.
Maersk Line added that it had selected ER Schiffahrt and Bernhard Schulte based on criteria such as transparency, key performance indicators, and governance model".
The vessels will be transferred to the two suppliers by the end of 2015, and will reassign the crews currently serving onboard.
Captain Norbert Aschmann, CEO of BSM, said: “We are proud to have been awarded this contract by Maersk in line with their aim to continuously improve management of their fleet. This is a significant vote of confidence in BSM and reflects our commitment to safety, operational efficiency and transparency and emphasis on the achievement of key performance indicators agreed with our business partners.”
BSM has more than 180 boxships of various sizes up to 13,500 teu on its books. ER Schiffahrt manages 70 containerships of up to 13,102 teu in capacity.