Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Andersen warns global box trade will shrink


AP MOLLER-Maersk chief executive Nils Andersen forecasts that global container shipping volumes will contract this year and the market will be tough into 2010.

“It is realistic to say global trade will contract this year. Forecasts we are seeing will point to a contraction this year,” Mr Andersen said.

While he would not say how much global container volumes would contract in 2009, he made it clear the industry was in for a rough ride that would most likely last well into the following year.

“It’s fair to say 2009 will be very tough, and probably 2010 will be very tough as well. If the improvement comes before the end of 2010 we will be positively surprised. It is our job to prepare for tough times,” he said.

Mr Andersen also warned: “The present rates will not allow lines to sustain operations on a long term basis.”

He refused to be drawn as to whether the tough market conditions would result in some lines going under, merely noting that Maersk itself was well placed to ride out the downturn.

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