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Maersk’s Vincent Clerc: container sector needs discipline to avoid another downturn

Maersk boss sees blanked sailings, slow steaming and lower charter the way forward.

Container shipping operators need to be on their best behaviour to avoid another downturn, according to AP Moller-Maersk chief executive Vincent Clerc.

The Danish liner giant expects a sharp drop in profitability in the second half of the year as long-term freight earnings fall.

Those declines have been manageable to date as Maersk and other operators have taken measures to roll back capacity and costs.

But there remains a significant risk from the supply side as carriers continue to order ships.

Speaking on Maersk’s earning call today, Clerc contrasted the behaviour of liner operators today with previous downturns, when lines chased market share.

That discipline was evident in the transpacific where freight rates are already staging a recovery.

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