It has been a few weeks since I last contacted you. I hope that you and your loved ones are still doing well and you navigated somewhat smoothly through the first quarter.
Speaking of which, today we have published our first quarterly figures of 2021. Even though we recorded a slight decline in transport volumes, we are looking back on a solid start of the year in which we managed to keep up the momentum of late 2020. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the course of the pandemic, the global economy remained comparatively stable. In many countries, particularly in the Far East, economic output even exceeded pre-crisis levels.
However, while we achieved very good results, mainly due to high demand for transport out of Asia, we had to deal with major operational challenges that pushed us to our limits: congested ports, ship delays and infrastructural bottlenecks, especially in North America. To complicate matters, the increased demand led to a shortage of vessels and boxes, making it difficult for us to provide you with the reliability and planning certainty you are accustomed to.
Please be assured we are doing our best to overcome these challenges. Our recent orders of in total around 150,000 TEU of box capacity and expansion of the fleet may be large investments, but underline our commitment to provide you with the best possible service and solutions. We are very committed to deliver you the best possible service quality on a day-to-day basis, we will invest even more in this and you may expect from us to make significant further progress in the remainder of this year.
It is of great importance to me to create maximum transparency and engage in regular personal dialogue with you. At the same time, I am eager to understand your business needs, expectations, and what we can do to optimize your supply chains.
Therefore, I would like to invite you to our next live session on 20 May 2021 from 5 PM to 6 PM (CET) and 21 May 2021 from 9 AM to 10 AM (CET). Please register via the button below.