Container crunch drives Maersk Q3 profits to record $5.9bn
Patrick O'Donnell
Maersk posted the most profitable quarter in its 117-year history. /VCG

Maersk posted the most profitable quarter in its 117-year history. /VCG


Shipping giant Maersk has more than tripled its quarterly operating profits to a record $5.9bn, despite lower container volumes. 

The Danish company is the world's largest shipping group and has benefitted from a shortage of container ships during the COVID-19 pandemic and logjams at ports, which have pushed the cost of transporting freight to record levels amid a resurgence in consumer spending. 



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"Decreasing volumes were driven by exports out of Asia due to shortage of equipment and congestions," Maersk said in a statement. 

Q3 was the most profitable three months in the 117-year history of the company, which handles one in five containers shipped worldwide.

Global container demand is expected to increase by up to 9 percent in 2021 versus previous guidance of between 6 percent and 8 percent, according to Lloyd's List.

Maersk said its container volumes were down 4 percent in the quarter compared with the same period in 2019 and slightly below last year, despite the company adding more ocean shipping capacity.

Shares in the Danish company are up 40 percent so far this year and jumped 1 percent in early trading on Tuesday.

Source(s): Reuters

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