When A.P. Moeller-Maersk a few weeks from now, on May 5th, publishes its interim report for the first quarter 2016, the container business in Maersk Line is expected show a deficit of around USD 431 million, projects analyst firm Drewry, pointing to a combined deficit of close to USD 237 million for the Maersk Group overall.
A loss on this scale at the world's largest container carrier seems to confirm the most dire predictions about the extent of the downturn in the global container industry in the first months of 2016. A year that could turn out to be unusually harsh for the already hard-pressed container carriers. The markets are struggling with all-time low spot rates due to overcapacity compared to demand, especially on the east-west trades between Asia and Europe, Maersk Line's key market.