COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Global shipping giant Maersk reported healthy third-quarter profits yesterday but warned that freight prices have peaked and “dark clouds” loom due to the Ukraine conflict, high inflation and recession fears.
The Danish firm has benefitted from soaring freight costs since 2020 as the reopening of economies following the Covid pandemic caused major bottlenecks in global trade.
Maersk said its net profit jumped 63 per cent to USD8.9 billion in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2021 – higher than forecast by analysts surveyed by financial data firm FactSet.
Freight rates rose by 42 per cent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, the company said.
“However, it is clear that freight rates have peaked and started to normalise during the quarter, driven by both decreasing demand and easing of supply chain congestion,” Maersk Chief Executive Soren Skou said in a statement. “With the situation in Ukraine, an energy crisis in Europe, high inflation, and a looming global recession there are plenty of dark clouds on the horizon,” Skou said.
“This weighs on consumer purchasing power which in turn impacts global transportation and logistics demand.”