Denmark investigating Iran’s Maersk seizure

The Foreign Ministry said it has a "clear expectation that Iran will honour its international obligations" after seizing and boarding a Maersk ship in what the US said was a "provocative" act.

Denmark investigating Iran's Maersk seizure
Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/Scanpix
After the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized a Maersk cargo ship on Tuesday, the Danish Foreign Ministry says it is working with the company to find answers. 
“We are working at full throttle to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Maersk Tigris and are in a dialogue with Maersk about the case,” ministry officials wrote in a statement to news agency Ritzau. 
The Maersk Tigris was sailing in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday when Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats confronted the ship, fired warning shots across its bow and forced it into Iranian waters where Iranian forces came on board. 
“We should be careful about drawing conclusions before we know the actual circumstances of the case. But it is our clear expectation that Iran will honour its international obligations and that the crew aboard Maersk Tigris will not be harmed,” the ministry said. 
The Maersk Tigris was flying under the flag of the Marshall Islands and no Danes were on board. 
US officials told Reuters that Iran’s actions were “provocative” and that firing warning shots across the bow of a cargo vessel was “inappropriate”.

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Maersk profits up as global supply chain disrupted

Danish shipping giant, AP Møller-Maersk, said Tuesday that profits were up sixfold in the third quarter as the coronavirus pandemic and global supply chain problems caused container prices to soar. 

Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. The Danish shipping company posted hefty profits in the third quarter of 2021.
Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen. The Danish shipping company posted hefty profits in the third quarter of 2021. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

“Maersk delivered record earnings” in the third quarter, chief executive Soren Skou said.

“In the ongoing exceptional market situation, with high demand in the US and global disruptions to the supply chains, we continued to increase capacity and expand our offerings to keep cargo moving for our customers.” 

Maersk said that its bottom-line net profit amounted to $5.438 billion in the period from July to September, compared with $947 million a year earlier.

Underlying, or operating, profit increased nearly fivefold to $5.859 billion and revenues jumped by 67 percent to $16.612 billion.

“Results in Q3 were driven by high freight rates in an exceptional market situation,” the group said.

Looking ahead, Maersk said it is sticking to its full year forecast for operating profit of 18-19 billion dollars. 

However, the ocean shipping division “is now expected to grow below” projected global container demand of between seven and nine percent this year, “subject to high uncertainties related to the current congestion and network disruption,” Maersk said.

“The current trading conditions are still subject to a higher-than-normal uncertainty due to the temporary nature of current demand patterns, disruptions in the supply chains,” it cautioned.

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