Trade war and an economic slowdown are two factors impeding growth in global freight, Danish giant Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, warned on Friday.
Releasing its earning figures for the first quarter, Maersk cut its forecast for global growth in container traffic this year, due to the trade dispute between the US and China.
The recent escalation of the trade war induced by an increase in tariff rates and threats of implementing additional tariffs could take global container trade growth to the lower end of the 1-3% interval (range),
…CEO Chief Executive Soren Skou was quoted as saying.
During his three years as CEO, Mr. Skou has sold off the Danish group’s oil and gas business to focus on the container business, a strategy some analysts say has left Maersk exposed during economic downturns, Reuters reported.
On Friday, the company reported first-quarter results in line with expectations as a decline in container volumes was balanced by higher freight rates.
The trade war depressed trade volumes between Asia and North America in the first three months of the year, according to Maersk.
New tariffs could reduce the expected growth in global container volumes by up to 1%, Skou told a press conference in Copenhagen after returning from a trip to China.
He further cautioned that even if a solution between the world’s two top economies was found, the trade wars would not end.