MAERSK Line: “We Cannot Sustain Continual Losses”

maersk line containership
Image courtesy Maersk Line

MELBOURNE–A worldwide glut of containers and a fall in demand for shipped goods during the global financial crisis have pushed shipping prices to unsustainable levels, the director of sales at Maersk Line Gerard Morrison said on Tuesday.

Mr. Morrison told a conference here that Maersk is now making a loss of A$206 ($217) on every 40 foot container that runs between Melbourne and the Chinese port of Qingdao, he said.

“Current rates are not able to cover our costs and we cannot sustain continual losses,” Mr. Morrison said.

The global shipping industry averaged a rate of return of 2% last year, a fifth of its target level of 10%, he said. Volumes from Australia and New Zealand and Asia up to halved last year from their peaks in 2010.

– Caroline Henshaw, (c) 2012 Dow Jones Newswires