If tariffs between China and the US increase, this could suppress growth in international container shipping Germany-based Hapag Lloyd has warned.
CEO Rolf Habben Jansen, observed that “many customers tried to get their goods through to the US ahead of time in second half 2018, creating additional growth”, which pointed to some business having been brought forward.
He said that, with European activities being relatively stable, a direct crisis was not on the horizon; only later this year would it be clear whether there would be sustained damage to business.
Meanwhile, Habben Jansen said that freight rates were stable for the time being and further direction for the remainder of the year would emerge in the period from now up to the middle of May.
Order books were low on vessel supply, at about 10% of the global fleet. Some scrapping activity was noticeable.
Habben Jansen said that preliminary results for 2018, due on February 25th, were likely to reflect growth in transport volumes above the market average and results should be “satisfactory”.