German marine transporter Hamburg Süd has begun a major cost-savings programme to overcome revenue losses.

The company aims to cut about €250-€300m ($323-$388m) in 2009 by lowering ship charter rates, returning hired vessels and negotiating lower prices with terminal operators.

The company will also introduce a shorter working week for its 700 employees in Hamburg to reduce wage bills and avoid pay hikes.

Under German short-time working rules, the government pays part of the wages lost by workers due to reduced hours.

By staff writer