DANISH shipping giant Maersk said it expects a slowdown in global shipping container demand in 2022 as consumer confidence weakens, reports CNBC News.
Predictions came as Maersk confirmed its second quarter results stating that the company's revenue rose 52 per cent year-on-year to US$21.7 billion while operating profits more than doubled to $8.9 billion.
But Maersk now expects demand to slow with growth coming it at between minus one per cent and plus one per cent in 2022, as rising inflation and energy prices darken the global economic outlook.
"Geopolitical uncertainty and higher inflation via higher energy prices continued to weigh on consumer sentiment and growth expectations," the company said in a statement.
Maersk warned that the slowdown was especially pronounced in Europe, where stockpiles have been building up at ports and in warehouses as consumer demand wanes.
Russia's war in Ukraine and Covid lockdowns in China have only exacerbated congestion, it said.
"In Europe, supply chain congestion remained as retailers and manufacturers kept containers in ports and warehouses due to weak final demand. Port lockdowns in China due to the Covid-19 zero-tolerance policy as well as consequences from the war in Ukraine also caused strains in key areas of the logistics network," the company said.
Continued congestion and dislocation of supply and demand fundamentals in the logistics industry increases the uncertainty surrounding the outlook for freight rates.
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