Nils Smedegaard Andersen chief executive officer of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said the Container volumes have picked up this year after the market suffered from sluggish growth and overcapacity in 2015, reports Bloomberg.
He said 2016 beginning looked a little bit better and expected the Asia to Europe business to develop better this year.
Maersk’s container line, the world’s largest, suffered last year from a toxic cocktail of too many vessels just as global trade sagged. While the industry still needs to address overcapacity, the demand side looks better, Andersen said.
In 2015, Nils Andersen was expecting another year of about 3% to 4% demand growth. Instead, it came in at 1. Demand on Asia-to-Europe routes fell by as much as 5%, and freight rates fell to an average of $620 a container for the year.
Andersen says he expects a pickup this year, thanks to the weaker yuan, which should boost Chinese exports, and “reasonable economic growth in Europe.” That should translate into shipping-demand growth of about 3% this year, he says.
Maersk also has the ability to withstand continued low oil prices, and “would have no problems” if crude remains below $30 a barrel for the rest of the year, Andersen said. “We are really well positioned for the future. We have a very strong balance sheet.”