Maersk predicts global container shipping market will grow by 2-4pc in 2017

DENMARK’s Maersk Line is seeing a more balanced supply-demand situation for 2017, after years of overcapacity and excessive optimism about demand given that the order backlog for ships is declining and freight rates are rising.

The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping and consolidation in the container shipping industry will pave the way for a better year ahead for the industry, according to the Asia-Pacific chief of Maersk Line, Robbert van Trooijen.

“It’s the growth side and the right-sizing of the industry, and the sanity that comes back in the negotiations,” Mr van Trooijen said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Rishaad Salamat in Hong Kong. “We do see now that the normalisation has come back to that.”

Maersk Line, which expects to be profitable in 2017 after a US$384 million loss it booked last year, expects the global container market to grow two to four per cent amid the consolidation wave.