The shipping giant, which current employs 25,000 workers around the globe, said it lost $566 million in the first quarter after earning a net profit of $416 million in the first three months of 2011.
"We want to build a successful business that consistently delivers acceptable returns to its shareholders," Chief Executive Officer Soren Skou said in a statement.
"This requires that we challenge ourselves to have as efficient an organization as possible," he said.
The Copenhagen Post reported Maersk Line, as a subsidiary of A.P. Moller-Maersk, generates 42 percent of its parent company's business.
The company has already said it would ground some ships to help increase freight rates and reduce its fuel consumption.
After spending $5.8 billion on fuel in 2011, the firm has targeted a 22 percent reduction in fuel consumption by 2014, the newspaper said.