The CEO of world’s biggest shipping company warned of the ‘biggest drop in demand on record’ as coronavirus batters global trade

  • Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company said it expect volumes across all businesses to fall up to 25% in Q2.
  • That would be “the biggest drop in demand on record,” according to CEO Soren Skou.
  • Global trade has been battered by the coronavirus, with fewer non-essential goods being shipped around the world.
  • Despite its warnings, Maersk reported $1.5 billion in operating profits in Q1, a 23% increase year-on-year.

Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, expects volumes across all businesses to contract as much as 25% in the second quarter as coronavirus has battered global trade.

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Soren Skou, Maersk’s chief executive said in an earnings release: “We continue to support our customers in keeping their supply chains running, however as global demand continues to be significantly affected, we expect volumes in Q2 to decrease across all businesses, possibly by as much as 20-25%.”

“2020 is a challenging year, but as we proactively respond to lower demands and show progress in our transformation and financial performance, we are strongly positioned to weather the storm.”

In an interview with the Financial Times that coincided with the release of the results, Skou said that if those figures come true it will represent “the biggest drop in demand on record, worse than during the global financial crisis.”

The company reported $1.5 billion in operating profits in Q1, a 23% increase year-on-year.

“The lockdowns, first in Asia and then across Europe and North America have led to significantly lower demand, which affects all parts of the business,” the company said in its earnings report.

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