Maersk changes course to play “ship conkers”

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8 September 2017

Ship conkers 1

The contenders: Maersk Searcher on the left is a three-er, beating 2 yachts and a mooring pontoon; on the right, Maersk Shipper, a new contender.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Maritime magnate, Maersk Shipping, have been promoting “ship conkers” as a viable alternative to oil and gas charters. The change of tack is in reaction to the collapse of the offshore oil industry and draws on a children’s favourite autumn playground game as the framework for a new business model.

Maersk are heralding ship conkers as all the fun of normal conkers, but posing no hazard to eyes or knuckles. Their version also levels the playing field when it comes to extraneous initiatives to gain a tactical advantage, as baking a ship, or soaking a ship in vinegar overnight is beyond the capabilities of most Danish suburban households.

Ship conkers 2

Game on — a fairly even match as the vessels battle past the South West approaches.

A spokesperson from the Maersk office headquarters in Copenhagen explained that since the oil and gas industry hit the doldrums in 2014, ageing offshore vessels are now so numerous, they have become worth about as much as a carrier bag full of horse chestnut seeds. Stormy seas remain in 2017 for those seeking new contracts, so Maersk decided to chart a different course.

Ship conkers 3

A worthy victory for the Maersk Shipper, as the Searcher heads for Davie Jones' locker.

“Efficiency drives have forced us to sack all our experienced marine personnel — who, let’s face it, have done nothing for the last three years but hand our money to whores in Aberdeen," said the spokesperson, "this has allowed us to replace them with office based social media savvy trainee graduates, whose heads are full of fresh ideas and L’Oreal hair clay.

"It has inspired our results-driven staff to brainstorm future roles in the shipping sector, especially since the recent loss of confidence in the company’s offshore competences.”

According to the new glossy pamphlet for employees, health and safety is Maersk’s first priority, after money, litigation prevention and negative online emoji. With those core-values in mind, the company has concluded that smashing two ships together until one sinks, dragging the other one under shortly afterwards, creates far more “likes” and “wows” on Facebook, than being awarded any contract from BP, Transocean or Halliburton.

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