Surging demand that has caused congestion is within the supply chain and a shortage of available equipment has seen demand increase along with soaring rates according to Maersk which has adjusted its forecast accordingly.
Average rates have increased 35% since the first quarter of last year and demand for ocean services increased 5.7% in the first quarter of this year with underlying earnings at US$3.1 billion, reported the carrier.
“The exceptional market situation is now expected to continue well into the fourth quarter of 2021, the full year guidance for 2021 has been revised upwards,” said Maersk, with the carrier expecting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to increase by up to 42.8%, between US$13-15 billion (previously US$8.5-10.5 billion), with an underlying EBIT in the range of US$9-11 billion (previously US$4.3-6.3 billion).
The Danish line is expecting growth in 2021 to increase to between 5 and 7%, from 3-5% with growth mainly driven by Chinese exports to the US.
However, Maersk also warned, “Trading conditions for the quarters ahead remain subject to a higher-than-normal volatility due to potential changes in current demand patterns and the current disruptions in the supply chains and equipment shortages impacting the short-term container freight rates.”