Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Tuesday record-high freight rates boosted quarterly earnings despite lower container volumes due to congestion at ports.
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a shortage of container ships and logjams at ports at a time of high consumer spending, pushing the cost of transporting freight to record levels.
Maersk, which handles one in five containers shipped worldwide, said its main Ocean business is now expected to grow below that of global container demand, which is seen at 7-9% in 2021 versus previous guidance of 6-8%.
The Danish company said container volumes were down 4% in the quarter compared to the same period in 2019 and slightly below last year, despite adding more ocean shipping capacity.
“Decreasing volumes were driven by exports out of Asia due to shortage of equipment and congestions,” Maersk said in a statement.
Its shares, which are up some 40% year-to-date, rose 1% in early trading.
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