ShippingWatch

Maersk Line: Demand at 30-year low

Demand in the global container market in 2015 was probably lower than what Maersk Line has projected up until now, the carrier says in an interview with ShippingWatch. And there are no prospects of recovery in 2016, according to the container carrier.

There once was a time, not that long ago, when the global container traffic increased every year by double-digit percentages, and a time when shipowners could optimistically keep ordering more vessels and larger vessels because the economic growth alone was enough to secure business. Then, a few years ago, the market growth fell to just five percent on average. And over the course of 2015, the decline really took hold of the industry: "4-5 percent" became "3-4 percent". And in October of last year this became "1-3 percent". Now it looks as though the demand for container transport in 2015 will land as close to zero as one can possibly come, thus constituting a record low after 30 years of growth which has shaped an entire industry.

"We're expecting a demand for the whole market of between 1 and 3 percent, and it will probably be in the lower end. On Asia-Europe alone, the first 11 months of 2015 have brought a decline of 4 percent. We have never experienced such a negative development, except during the violent fluctuations of the financial crisis in 2009," says Maersk Line's Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, Jakob Stausholm, in an interview with ShippingWatch.

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