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MAERSK, the world's biggest shipping company, posted a record net profit of US$5.5 billion for the third quarter, drawn on revenues of $16.6 billion, which increased 68 per cent year on year. But total liftings were flat at 6.5 million TEU, with east-west volumes contracting due to the impact of port congestion.

Maersk's average box rate in the quarter was $1,780 per TEU, up 17 per cent from the previous quarter. "This represents a strategic transformation of our ocean business," said Maersk CEO Soren Skou The contracts include commitments of 2.8 million TEU a year from its top 200 shippers.

Maersk's vessel operating costs increased by $1.5 billion on Q3 2020, to $6.8 billion. The fuel bill almost doubled to $1.4 billion, driven by a 74 per cent jump in its average bunker price to $504 per ton. Terminals and towage increased to $352 million, from $236 million the year before.

Mr Skou declared that contract rate negotiations for the main Asia to North America and Asia to Europe trades were closing higher than when last concluded Regardless, Mr Skou declared Maersk was not going to ignore the short-term spot market.

Source : Schednet