Maersk Sees Weaker Demand for Shipping

Maersk sees weaker demand for shipping

Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc 

COPENHAGEN (AFP): Maersk, the world’s second-largest container shipping firm, said Friday it expects shipping volumes to fall this year as companies continue to reduce inventories.

The Danish firm had previously expected shipping volumes to be flat or dip slightly this year, but now sees them down one to 4%.

“The inventory correction observed since (the fourth quarter of) 2022 appears to be prolonged and is now expected to last through year end,” it said, adding it expected its volumes to evolve in line with the market.

It said market demand would likely remain subdued as long as companies reduce their inventories. 

In the second quarter Maersk’s container ship division saw its revenue halved from the same period last year – when companies were trying to stock up to meet pent-up demand following the end of pandemic lockdowns in most countries – to $ 8.7 billion.

The drop was “driven by a decrease in freight rates and loaded volumes”, it said.

Overall revenues fell 40% to $ 12.9 billion, in line with analyst expectations.

Strong demand saw freight rates swell, but these have since fallen back to normal levels.

Net profits fell by 83% to $ 1.45 billion, but were much better than the $ 686 million analysts expected, which the company put down to measures to reduce costs.

“Cost focus will continue to play a central role in dealing with a subdued market outlook that we expect to continue until end year,” said chief executive Vincent Clerc.

Last year the firm posted a massive profit of $ 29.19 billion thanks to strong demand and high rates, but had already warned 2023 would see a return to a more normal performance.

Maersk shares sank 4.3% in afternoon trading on the Copenhagen stock exchange.

(Source: Daily Mirror)