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Business Model InnovationThe Organizational Dimension$
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Nicolai J Foss and Tina Saebi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701873.001.0001

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A Business Model Innovation by an Incumbent Late Mover

A Business Model Innovation by an Incumbent Late Mover

Containerization in Maersk Line

(p.217) 11 A Business Model Innovation by an Incumbent Late Mover
Business Model Innovation

Torben Pedersen

Henrik Sornn-Friese

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies the example of a business model innovation conducted by Maersk Line. The case unfolds Maersk Line’s development from being a minor player in global liner shipping in 1953, through the decision to invest heavily in container-based transport systems which changed the whole industry. Since then Maersk Line has been the main player and innovator in global shipping, and has obtained its current position as the world’s largest container operator with a fleet of about 650 container ships providing global “point to point” services. The Maersk Line case provides numerous insights into business model innovations in terms of the decision process, timing, and the actors involved. The business model innovation, containerization did not happen quickly, as the development of the system’s elements took decades. Although new entrants conducted much of the initial containerization experiments, it was the incumbent Maersk Line that took the concept to a higher level and reaped the benefits of this development.

Keywords:   shipping industry, containerization, incumbent innovator, late-mover, experimentation

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