Container shipping giant Maersk has sounded a warning that global demand is slowing, saying that “freight rates have peaked”.
The Copenhagen-based company told investors that the Ukraine war, Europe’s energy crisis, high inflation and a ‘looming global recession’ were all hitting the world economy.
It now expects global container demand to fall by between 2% and 4% this year, down from a previous forecast of +1 to -1%.
Although A.P. Moller – Maersk posted another record quarter for July-September, its chief executive Søren Skou warned that demand was falling:
However, it is clear that freight rates have peaked and started to normalize during the quarter, driven by both decreasing demand and easing of supply chain congestion.
The warning knocked shares in Maersk by over 5%.
The world’s biggest shipping company saw its earnings rocket as the global economy reopened after pandemic lockdowns, and demand for containers surged. Its profits tripled in 2021 to $24bn.