Maersk ordering 10 ‘mega’ ships: report

A.P. Moeller-Maersk is reportedly placing a massive order from South Korea's Daewoo, sources said on Monday.

Maersk ordering 10 'mega' ships: report
The new ships are capable of carrying more than 18,000 containers each. Photo: MICHAEL KOOREN/Scanpix
Danish shipping giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk, the world's largest container transporter, is close to ordering 10 “mega” container ships even as freight rates are under pressure from overcapacity, it was reported Monday.
The order, worth more than $1.5 billion (1.34 billion euros), to South Korea's Daewoo “will be announced in coming weeks and deliveries will start in 2017,” the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The 'mega' ships, each capable of carrying more than 18,000 containers, would “likely” be deployed on routes between Europe and Asia, it reported.
Maersk Line, the group's shipping unit, has managed to outperform the market as the sector was hit by overcapacity after the financial crisis.
But even so, the company said in February's annual earnings report it had minimized “the impact of the low and volatile freight rate environment” through “active capacity management.”
Maersk expects global growth in container shipping to reach between three and five percent this year, compared with four percent last year. That compares with global annual capacity growth of around eight percent predicted by analysts who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.
The Danish group last year partnered with Swiss-Italian MSC under a deal similar to code-sharing agreements among airlines, allowing the companies to put cargo on each others vessels.

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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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