Hapag-Lloyd begins 1,700 days of training for UASC staff


Hapag-Lloyd has begun “1,700 days of training” for UASC staff joining the newly merged container shipping group to ensure a smooth integration of the two companies

The group said the training programme would cover topics such as processes, applications and company structure, and was being implemented by “skilled trainers, all of whom are Hapag-Lloyd employees, who understand the shipping business and Hapag-Lloyd’s systems and operations in detail”.

In a note today to customers, the German shipping line said: “During the integration period of UASC and Hapag-Lloyd, we have a strong focus on ensuring a smooth transition of your business. With this in mind, a global training programme has already started for all UASC staff joining Hapag-Lloyd. Such a programme requires months of intense planning and preparation.”

It said around 1,700 days of training were planned for staff “in order to ensure a continuously high quality of service and safeguard the continued smooth transportation of cargo”. Face-to-face trainings have already started in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

“By mid-July, seven weeks after the closing, half of the more than 500 planned training events are expected to have been successfully completed,” it added.

The training structure is based on a blended learning concept – which combines web-based training, basic and advanced classroom training, as well as learning support post training. Top priority in classroom instruction will be given to real-life relevance, the company said.

Uwe Karstens, Hapag-Lloyd director of global training, commented: “The goal is to get the trainees into exercises as quickly as possible. And that’s why we’ve developed several practical examples for all business fields. In the training-exercise systems, the trainees will be familiarised using examples drawn from normal day-to-day business practice.”

Hapag-Lloyd said the overall training process will be completed within three months, but stressed this in no way means that the learning process is over. “Nowadays, we expect all employees – new or old – to improve their skills on an ongoing basis,” Karstens said.

As reported last month in Lloyd’s Loading List, Hapag-Lloyd has claimed its “top priority” is “customer focus and business continuity” in the transition period leading up to its merger with the United Arab Shipping Company (UASC).

In a message to customers last month, the two companies said that during the merger process, UASC and Hapag-Lloyd will be integrated into one single brand: Hapag-Lloyd, noting: “For a number of weeks, our plan is to continue operating with both Hapag-Lloyd and UASC Bills of Lading and systems to avoid any confusion. You can communicate and place all bookings and rate requests with your respective Hapag-Lloyd and/or UASC contacts. Upon integrating our systems, processes and interfaces, your bookings will be placed via the Hapag-Lloyd system for all sailings and services.

The lines said said the entire Commercial Cut-Over process starts mid-July and will be completed in October 2017. All booking channels will be open well in advance to cater for all respective sailings.

The merger strengthens Hapag-Lloyd’s position as the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world with 230 vessels and a shared fleet capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU. The combined line expects to achieve $435 million in annual synergies by 2019 and limit its need for newbuilding investment.

The merger of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC brings together 4,800 sales and customer service staff, representing the group in 125 countries around the world.