Maersk predicts “exceptional market situation” to continue

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The “exceptional market situation” continues to cause bottlenecks at ports and shortages of equipment in supply chains, according to A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk), which has reported increased Ocean volumes of 15%.

In a statement, the carrier said the situation will continue until at least the end of 2021. It has consequently revised its financial guidance to say it expects to earn between $18-19.5 billion in Full Year 2021 (FY 2021), up from previous a previous estimate of between $13-15 billion.

“The outlook for the global market demand growth for the full-year 2021 has been revised up to 6-8% from previously 5-7%, primarily still driven by the export volumes out of China to the US,” Maersk said.

“Earnings in the third quarter are expected to exceed the level for Q2 2021. Trading conditions for the quarters ahead are, however, still subject to a higher than normal volatility due to the temporary nature of current demand patterns, disruptions in the supply chains and equipment shortages.”

Ports and terminals across the world have experienced unprecedented congestion since the Summer of 2020 as lockdown measures in some parts of the world, such as China, eased and consumers in major markets began an e-commerce frenzy.

Carriers have consequently enjoyed substantial increases to their profits and earnings, despite the challenges caused in parts of the supply chain, such as inland. It has raised questions over some regions’ ability to handle sudden increases in traffic, as well as an investigation from the US federal government into alleged breaches of contract from carrier alliances.

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