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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Container Shipping Demand Up Significantly, Hapag-Lloyd CEO Says

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 5, 2024

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

(Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

Hapag-Lloyd Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen said on Wednesday that demand for container shipments across the world's oceans has risen significantly in recent weeks but the upswing may be short-lived.

The CEO told customers at an online presentation that the increase since the start of May was due to a combination of stocks being replenished in some sectors, unexpectedly high customer demand and shipping company customers bringing forward deliveries to be prepared for the upcoming peak season.

"People want to be on the safe side," said Habben Jansen, citing uncertainty about the second half of the year.

"The whole situation is not getting any better because everyone is starting to book the same container two or three times," he said.

The spot rates - fees that shipping companies charge for near-term delivery - have risen significantly in the past four to six weeks. "That was unexpected," he said.

He said an increase in U.S. tariffs could also be behind the rise. However, the CEO said that the uptick was temporary and he did not think it would last until the end of the year.

With some 280 ships, Hapag-Lloyd is the world's fifth-largest shipping company, and connections to North America have traditionally been an important business area for the group.

The situation in the Red Sea, which has disrupted the industry as major shipping companies avoid the Suez Canal, should ease before the end of the year, predicted the CEO.

(Reuters - Reporting by Elke Ahlswede, Writing by Miranda Murray, Editing by Madeline Chambers)