Hapag-Lloyd forecasts small increase in shipping demand towards year’s end
Shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has forecast a small and short-lived uptick in demand towards the year’s end.
The world’s fifth-largest shipping company saw a decline in demand in September and October as the cost-of-living crisis weakened consumers’ appetite.
“I don’t think the market is as weak as it was four or eight weeks ago,” chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said on Tuesday.
“Towards the end of the year and running up to Chinese New Year, I think we see a little recovery in demand.”
Hapag-Lloyd has nevertheless maintained a cautious outlook going forward, as freight rates have started to settle down after being at record highs for the good part of the year.
“Thanks to higher freight rates, we have achieved an exceptionally strong nine-month result,” the chief executive said in early November.
In the first nine months of 2022, the group’s EBITDA more than doubled to $16.6bn (£13.4bn), whilst profit went up by over 54 per cent to $14.7bn.
“However, we are also seeing that the market environment has deteriorated further in the third quarter,” he continued.
“This is evident, for example, in falling spot rates and rising inflation-related unit costs.”
Hapag-Lloyd is not the only company to see a slowdown in demand, as rival Maersk yesterday appointed logistics boss Vincent Clerc to the top job to help the company weather the upcoming challenges.