Belfast Telegraph

Maersk sees trade rebound in shipping

By Stephen Foley

The world's largest container shipping company and one of the biggest ports operators has provided an optimistic snapshot of global trade.

AP Moeller-Maersk said that the volume of goods carried on the high seas had continued its rebound from the depths of the recession.

The company, more commonly known simply as Maersk, has activities in a variety of business sectors, primarily within the transportation and energy sectors.

The Danish container shipping line said it was back in the black in the first half of the year, and it bolstered believers in the economic recovery by raising full-year forecasts, too.

The company said it had started redeploying mothballed vessels in the second quarter.

The volume of freight carried by its ships in the six months to June 30 was up by 11% compared with the same period last year, and the rates it was able to charge surged 31%.

The spike in demand has been so strong that there is now a shortage of containers across the industry, a problem expected to persist until suppliers fill orders for new containers later this year.

Meanwhile, DP World, the international ports operator controlled by the government of Dubai, said it handled 7% more containers in the first half.

Net income from continuing operations rose to $206m from $188m a year ago, outstripping analysts' forecasts by one third.