Maersk Chief Executive Søren Skou disagrees, despite rumors that companies in Europe and the US are considering withdrawing all or part of their production in Asia due to factors such as supply chain uncertainty.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Søren Skou said: “We don’t see any signs of our customers shifting production back to Europe. Instead, they are looking for more suppliers across Asia. It’s hard to see in the short term, even in the medium term. to a dramatic change in the way the world produces consumer goods.”
Søren Skou said that, according to his estimates, global trade "will grow more or less with GDP". "It's not going to be more liberalized, so we're not going to see (even) more growth. It's not going to reverse sharply," he said.
Maersk expects container traffic to fall in the first half of the year as world economic growth is subdued. Søren Skou said the factors that led to the boom in container shipping have reversed sharply since the end of the first wave of Covid-19, and container shipping could soon be hit.
He added that there could be a "bullwhip effect of contraction in demand and increased supply" after nearly two years of the opposite phenomenon in which shipping groups were unable to cope with a surge in consumer spending, "and when it does, it could develop very quickly. ."
He said that was unlikely to happen early in the second half of the year, as Maersk had previously envisaged, but could happen in August or later this year. "I don't want to say I'm afraid," he said, pointing to an increase in long-term contracts for container shipping and rapid growth in land-based logistics.
In addition, Maersk's earnings will be very high due to high freight rates, port bottlenecks and supply chain disruptions. Therefore, Maersk raised its full-year 2022 performance forecast, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) raised from the previous $24 billion to about $30 billion.