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Maersk: container shipping rates are back in the black

Global – Rates for shipping waste material are set to increase following a more confident analysis of the market by Maersk Line, the world’€™s largest container ship operator.

Nils Smedegaard Andersen, Chief Executive of the AP Møller-Maersk group, told the Danish Society of Financial Analysts: ‘€˜At the moment, freight rates are at a level where container transport is earning money again. We are still working to get higher rates and hope there will be a pick-up in world trade after the summer.’€™

If the upward trend proves sustainable, it may be enough to pull the shipping industry out of a four-year slump brought on by oversupply of vessels and weak demand. According to Mr Andersen, recent rate increases indicate that most container shipping lines are probably operating at break-even levels. This is a dramatic change from last year when Maersk Line and its rivals were dragged deep into the red.

Mr Andersen said he hoped the oil and shipping group’€™s operations may climb back into ‘€˜positive territory’€™ if the scenario continued to brighten. ‘€˜We are well equipped for the time to come; we have roughly the fleet capacity that’s needed to maintain our market share in the next five years,’€™ he remarked.

However, he concluded that the industry was likely to remain significantly weighed down by overcapacity until 2016-17.

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