Fog lifting for Maersk as CEO gives upbeat shipping forecast


Denmark’s A.P. Moller Maersk gave an upbeat outlook for container shipping on Wednesday, lifting its shares as investors looked beyond one-off second-quarter charges.

Maersk has been hit by low oil prices at its energy arm and sliding prices in its shipping business in recent years due to lackluster global trade and a glut of available ships for hire.

But its chief executive Soren Skou, who has staked his future on Maersk as a transport business, said the container shipping industry is showing signs of recovery this year as freight rates have picked up, while overcapacity is easing as orders for new vessels fall and existing ones are scrapped.

“Container shipping fundamentals are at their best since 2010,” Skou told Reuters following Maersk’s results.

Skou announced plans last September for Maersk to focus on transport, while seeking alliances or a separate listing for its energy division, which includes Maersk Oil. But Maersk has so far revealed little about progress on its plans, and Skou declined to elaborate on Wednesday.

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