After record results in 2022, the situation at Maersk is stabilizing with solid numbers. CEO Clerc says 2023 was a “year of transition.”

The recent surge in freight prices is unlikely to last, according to Danish shipping giant Maersk. Excess ship capacity will drive prices down again in the future, company boss Vincent Clerc said during the presentation of the annual report on Thursday in Copenhagen.

The increase in container shipping prices caused by the crisis in the Red Sea is only temporary. The situation underscores “the need for resilient supply chains,” Clerc said.

Maersk sails through the Suez Canal

In recent weeks, the situation in the Red Sea has caused transport prices to skyrocket. Houthi militants have repeatedly fired rockets at ships there. For this reason, cargo ships are currently heading south, around Africa, rather than taking the short route through the Suez Canal. Maersk has also indefinitely suspended its voyages through the affected area.

Maersk is the world's second largest container shipping company behind MSC. Starting in February 2025, Maersk will form the “Gemini Cooperation” shipping alliance together with Hapag-Lloyd of Hamburg, number five in the world.

Annual sales plummeted

After Maersk's best-ever financial result in 2022, sales and profit figures for 2023 fell significantly. Annual sales fell from 81.5 to approximately 51.1 billion dollars (47.4 billion euros), the final result was a profit of 3.9 billion dollars (about 3.6 billion euros). euros). In the record year of 2022, it amounted to $29.3 billion.

“After the extraordinary boom caused by the pandemic, 2023 was a year of transition,” explained Maersk boss Clerc. “We delivered strong financial results despite circumstances changing significantly and are well positioned to weather expected headwinds in 2024.”

Due to strains on supply chains during the coronavirus pandemic, shipping companies have significantly increased their shipping capacities. However, demand subsequently plummeted as many companies reduced inventories and rising inflation hit consumer confidence.

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