German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd issued a statement Thursday promising a smooth integration with United Arab Shipping Co (UASC) to be concluded by October.
Some experts question whether the ongoing diplomatic spat between Qatar and its neighboring Gulf countries could upend the merger, making it difficult for the container line to absorb UASC’s global network.
Hapag-Lloyd remains positive that it will manage a “smooth transition,” however.
“We will not only merge our offices across the world, synchronize our IT systems and bring together our fleets, but we will also merge our sale activities and booking channels to offer you a combined service as soon as possible,” the German line said in a news release. “We are confident we will be able to ensure complete integration by Q4 2017.”
Meanwhile, a number of large container lines have cancelled calls to Qatar as ongoing trade disputes linger among the Middle Eastern country and its neighbors.