GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Cargill announced on Jan. 21 its intention to close the London, England office of its ocean transportation arm, as the company consolidates its freight activities into Geneva, Switzerland.

Cargill’s decision was taken in light of the challenges being faced by the freight market, which is in its most distressed position since the mid-1980s, a situation that looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future, the company said.

The reduction in dry bulk demand led by China and the general slowdown in the global economy have led to a significant over supply in the dry bulk freight market at a moment when many new builds are being delivered. This has led to a need for Cargill to adjust its organization to be as efficient as possible, while not compromising relationships with key owners and customers and to maintain the highest safety and operating standards, Cargill said.

“This has been a difficult decision, given the track record of our London office, which has played a very important role over the years, particularly in developing our relationship with the ship owning community in the London market,” said Roger Janson, head of Cargill’s ocean transportation business. “It has also served as an important talent pipeline, with many of our global employees having been hired in London. However, in today’s world where means of communication have changed, connections between big cities are efficient and affordable and our relationships with the owners are good, the time is right for the activities of the London office to be consolidated into Geneva.”

Cargill has 10 employees currently located at its ocean transportation office in London and a consultation period with them has begun.

Cargill Ocean Transportation manages over 500 dry bulk vessels, ships over 220 million tonnes of 100 different dry bulk commodities and makes over 12,000 port calls per year across the globe, serving more than 400 global customers.