Maersk CEO Soren Skou told the news source the shipping company missed its fourth-quarter profit expectations due partly to the firm’s issues with capacity.
In the second quarter of 2020, Maersk saw a 15 percent decrease in shipping volume. This naturally prompted the shipping giant to reduce capacity, which became a problem when consumer demand and shipping volumes quickly rebounded.
Global trade is now continuing its track toward a 5 percent year-over-year increase – which Maersk and other shipping companies weren’t fully prepared to handle given the pandemic-driven disruption early in the year.
The container shortage increased freight rates and led to shipping delays for goods coming in from China. Some carriers have been sending empty containers back to Asia rather than waiting to fill it with exports from the US, Skou said.
Maersk and other carriers are now deploying at full container capacity again to meet demand. Presently, the firm is experiencing an 85 percent increase in quarterly earnings compared to the same period last year.
In the Maersk earnings report, Skou stated the firm is confident earnings will continue to grow as they begin to comfortably adjust to the demand patterns associated with the pandemic.
“Given the current exceptional situation where demand surge has led to bottlenecks in supply chains and equipment shortage, the first quarter of 2021 is expected to be stronger than the fourth quarter of 2020,” the company explained in the report.
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